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AMA to Boehner: Kill ICD-10

January 30, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Chicago-based American Medical Association (AMA) recently sent a letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner (R-Ohio) asking him to put a stop to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) required implementation of ICD-10. In the letter to Boehner, the AMA says the ICD-10 “create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care” and will be costly.

The AMA says the cost of implementing ICD-10 can be up to $2.7 million. The association says it is “a massive administrative and financial undertaking for physicians, requiring education, software, coder training, and testing with payers.” In addition, he says experiences abroad prove ICD-10 can be disruptive to claims processing and payments.

Also, the AMA says the ICD-10 implementation comes at an inopportune time, as the medical community is focused on implementing electronic health records (EHRs) into their practices. It also says more needs to be done to synchronize federal health IT programs, saying a lack of coordination has made everything confusing.

“Stopping the implementation of ICD-10, and calling on appropriate stakeholders including physicians, hospitals, payers, national and state medical and informatics associations, to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9 will help to keep adoption of EHRs and physician participation in quality and health IT programs on track and reduce costly burdens on physician practices,” James L. Madara, MD, president of the AMA, said in the letter.

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