The American Medical Association, the nation's largest physician organization, has taken a stand against ICD-10. The AMA House of Delegates voted to work vigorously to stop implementation of ICD-10 (The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision), a new code set for medical diagnoses. ICD-10 has about 69,000 codes and will replace the 14,000 ICD-9 diagnosis codes currently in use.
"The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patients' care. At a time when we are working to get the best value possible for our health care dollar, this massive and expensive undertaking will add administrative expense and create unnecessary workflow disruptions. The timing could not be worse as many physicians are working to implement electronic health records into their practices. We will continue working to help physicians keep their focus where it should be -- on their patients,” Peter W. Carmel, M.D., AMA president, said in a statement.
A 2008 study found that a small three-physician practice would need to spend $83,290 to implement ICD-10, and a 10-physician practice would spend $285,195 to make the coding change.