Federal officials' decision to go ahead with the ICD-10 coding system does not improve patient care and only helps bureaucrats, Texas Medical Association President Michael E. Speer, MD, said after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the new system would take effect Oct. 1, 2014. The ICD-10 announcement was contained in a news release about a CMS rule establishing a unique health plan identifier system officials say will save physicians time and money.
But Dr. Speer says the ICD-10 system "is a huge burden that deeply affects every practice. Instead of working with 13,500 diagnostic codes, we now will need to learn and use more than 70,000 different codes." It's also expensive, he said, costing solo physicians as much as $83,000 each and group practices of up to 10 doctors as much as $250,000.
"The timing of the transition could not be worse, as many physicians already are spending significant time and resources implementing electronic health records in their practices, meeting meaningful use regulations, adapting to a host of new Medicare and Medicaid policies, and hurdling other administrative burdens created by the new health law," Dr. Speer said.
Because of objections from TMA and others, federal officials delayed ICD-10 adoption from October 2013 to October 2014.
TMA now offers an easy-to-use electronic ICD-9 to ICD-10 GEMs mapping software to help practices with the transition. The downloadable tool will help you quickly and easily identify which ICD-10 codes replace the ICD-9 codes your practice uses now. It allows you to:
- Search by code, code description, or key words;
- Create and save a "favorites" list of commonly used codes; and
- Develop and print quick reference lists.
TMA will hold seminars to help physicians and their staff prepare for the transition. Future issues of Action and Texas Medicine will have more information when it becomes available.
TMA Practice Consulting is available for customized and private on-site training programs, as well. Call (800) 523-8776.
Action, Sept. 5, 2012