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Report: ICD-10, Cost Transparency among Top Issues for Docs in 2015

December 15, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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ICD-10 will be the one of the top issues for doctors in 2015, according to a report by the Boston-based nonprofit, Physicians Foundation.

The Foundation, which aims to advance the work of practicing physicians and help facilitate the delivery of healthcare to patients, listed the five areas that will have an impact on physicians and their patients in 2015. Among the top issues for them, according to the report’s authors, will be the transition to the ICD-10 code-set and the increasing adoption of cost of care transparency tools by patients.

On ICD-10, the Foundation’s 2014 Biennial Physician Survey found that half of respondents indicated that it will cause severe administrative problems in their practices. The organization says that physicians and providers cannot afford to delay planning and engagement with the deadline for implementation set at Oct. 1, 2015. They say if physicians delay, it will result in cash flow disruption and lost revenue.

“Actionable steps must be implemented early in the year to ensure sufficient preparation, including auditing internal IT platforms and making key updates to computer systems,” say authors of the report.

Also a top issue for physicians in 2015, with an IT slant, is the emergence of cost transparency tools that reveal the price of care. The Foundation says policymakers, payers, and providers must institute a system around cost of care transparency that is easy for patients and providers to understand.

Other top issues for doctors in 2015 include the increasing consolidation among hospital and health systems, the external regulatory strains that are eroding patient/physician encounters, and the decrease in access of care to physicians.

ICD-10 was delayed in 2014 and recently, several medical groups were aiming to push it back again. They were unsuccessful with the recent spending bill but will likely try again with the new Congress in January.

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