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AMA: MU, ICD-10 Most Pressing Issues for Docs in 2015

January 8, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The administrative load on physicians and competing regulatory programs—such has meaningful use and ICD-10— rank highest among the American Medical Association’s (AMA) most pressing issues for clinicians in 2015.

According to AMA, studies show that one of the greatest frustrations to physicians is the time and expense they must devote to administrative and regulatory requirements, pulling time away from patient care without a direct benefit to care delivery or health outcomes. “At the top of many physicians’ lists of things that need to change are unhelpful EHR systems and unachievable meaningful use requirements. According to data the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released in mid-December, more than 50 percent of eligible professionals will face payment penalties next year because they could not fulfill meaningful use requirements,” AMA’s list reads. The association says that it will continue to push for the adoption of solutions to the one-size-fits all meaningful use program, as outlined in a blueprint submitted to CMS in October.

What’s more, regarding ICD-10, AMA says that it has advocated for end-to-end testing, which will take place between January and March, and this should provide insight on potential disruptions from ICD-10 implementation, currently scheduled for Oct. 1. The physician-based AMA has maintained an anti ICD-10 stance; its president, Robert Wah, M.D., recently characterized the planned implementation of ICD-10 as analogous to the dark forces controlling the galaxy in the movie “Star Wars.”

Ranking second on the list is the Medicare physician payment system. AMA attests that Congress will need to act early this year to avoid a 21 percent pay cut scheduled to take effect April 1 under the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. “Because Congress missed its opportunity last year to repeal the SGR formula using a bipartisan legislative framework, the AMA and physicians will continue communicating with lawmakers—including those newly elected—to make reforming the Medicare payment system a priority for the new Congress,” AMA says.

The full list can be seen here.

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