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AMA Calls for Longer ICD-10 Compliance Delay

May 14, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The American Medical Association (AMA) has sent a letter to the acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Marilyn B. Tavenner, asking for a longer delay time period to the ICD-10 transition compliance date. While AMA says it welcomes the proposed extension in the compliance deadline for ICD-10 from Oct. 1, 2013 to Oct. 1, 2014, it urgesCMS to further extend the ICD-10 deadline at a minimum to Oct. 1, 2015.

According to the AMA, “two-year delay of the compliance deadline for ICD-10 is a necessary first step.” The physician-based advocate group says an extended delay would “provide CMS with adequate time to pursue a much needed cost-benefit analysis of the full ICD-10 move that covers the administrative and financial impact of the ICD-10 move on physician practices.” The current delay does not provide CMS with adequate time to fully examine the appropriate scope of ICD-10 and true costs to physician practices, the group says. The group also made a suggestion for what to do doing during the delay.

“During this time, we also urge CMS to institute a process to engage all relevant stakeholders including physicians to assess whether an alternative code set approach is more appropriate than the full implementation of ICD-10. While a number of other countries have implemented ICD-10, they have done so with a modified version of the code set and often with substantial government support,” the AMA stated in the letter.

Along with citing other health IT deadlines, AMA calls ICD-10 a massive administrative and financial undertaking for physicians, and says costs could range from $83,290 to more than $2.7 million. It cites experiences in Canada and studies on the transition to ICD-10 show a severe risk for claims processing and payment disruptions.

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Comments

ICD-10 deadline to be pushed back a year? What are the implications of the delay?

Hi there,

Here's an earlier update on the compliance delay:

http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/news-item/breaking-hhs-proposes-one-year-delay-icd-10-compliance

This just confirms my opinion that AMA is trying to delay implementation indefinitely and has no intent of accepting the transition from ICD9 to ICD10. One wonders what is really behind their intent - the richness of the ICD10 code set for analytics and reporting serve only to improve the clinical information available.

The AMA is correct in speaking up in our behalf. I just had to write another check to our vendor to upgrade. And what do I get as a doc, lower reimbursements in the future that I can't do one single thing about. This is not like other industries, we'll all realize what it means a few years when all the docs are employed and not working for you the patient but rather the "system".

I love reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

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