The AMA currently earns $72 million per year on CPT codes, and that goes away if ICD 10 is implemented. Although I agree that going from 14,193 CPT codes to 140,000 would be a burden, I wonder.
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AMA to House Speaker Boehner: Stop ICD-10
American Medical Association CEO James L. Madara, MD, wrote to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to urge him to take action against the implementation of ICD-10, informing him that the transition to ICD-10 as mandated by HIPAA would place a heavy burden on physicians without offering a direct benefit to individual patient care.
Implementing ICD-10 will be costly to physicians and disruptive to their other health IT efforts, Madara declared, adding that federal health IT initiatives should be better synchronized.
“This is a massive administrative and financial undertaking for physicians, requiring education, software, coder training and testing with payors,” Madara wrote. “As HIPAA-covered entities, physicians are responsible for complying with this ICD-10 mandate, and therefore must bear the entire cost of such a transition, without any financial aid from the government. Depending on the size of the practice, the total cost of implementing ICD-10 ranges from $83,290 to more than $2.7 million.”
Madara added that the Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for ICD-10 implementation is asking too much of physicians who are currently implementing EHRs and e-prescribing systems to avoid financial penalties for failing to participate in meaningful use incentive programs. He asked Boehner to consider the timelines for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ e-prescribing, meaningful use and physician quality reporting programs, saying that physicians don’t deserve to be penalized for choosing to participate in and prioritize one incentive program over others.
“Stopping the implementation of ICD-10, and calling on appropriate stakeholders including physicians, hospitals, payors, national and state medical and informatics associations, to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9 will help keep adoption of EHRs and physician participation in quality and health IT programs on track and reduce costly burdens on physician practices,” Madara concluded.
Read Madara’s letter to Speaker Boehner here.
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