Join physicians from across the United States to ask Congress for a two-year delay in ICD-10. Ask Congress to delay the mandatory implementation until October 2017 so you and your colleagues can spend more time on patient care. Your patients deserve it.
It’s imperative that you contact your representative today and explain how you cannot afford the cost and disruption of ICD-10 implementation to your business, especially now, when you are buried in myriad other bureaucratic burdens.
Take action now. It's easy and doesn't require much time. Just cut and paste the letter below onto your personal stationery, then send it to your representative by mail or by fax. It's important the letter is on your personal stationery. Feel free to add your own personal reasons why ICD-10 is not a good idea. Explain how implementing ICD-10 now will affect your practice and will take even more of your time away from patient care.
You can find the name, mailing address, and fax number of your U.S. representative in TMA's Legislative Action Center.
Your time and actions could make a huge difference. Thank you.
Austin I. King, MD
Texas Medical Association
Use this sample letter:
Dear Representative [LAST NAME OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]:
I'm writing today to ask that you please delay the implementation of ICD-10 until October 2017. The ICD-10 mandate is a huge burden for my practice with absolutely no direct benefit to individual patient care. Here's why:
Too high a price to pay: For physicians, there are about 68,000 diagnostic codes under the new ICD-10 coding system, which is five times more than are in use today under ICD-9. The United States is the only country in the world that ties this coding system to a complex billing system. Experts, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, tell us we may not get paid for three to six months due to ICD-10 implementation. If every moving part in our complex medical payment system does not function perfectly on Oct. 1, 2015, then physicians’ income drops to zero, which means many physicians won’t be able to keep their doors open. Patient access to care will be further disrupted. This is a steep price to pay for an imperfect new coding system.
The costs of shifting to ICD-10 are significant. The transition to ICD-10 is expected to cost $1.64 billion over 15 years, with more than 43 percent of that coming from the cost of upgrading information technology systems. That cost is spread across multiple participants — government ($315 million), payers ($164 million), physicians and providers ($137 million), and software developers ($96 million).
Physicians will be the hardest hit for much of the remaining 57 percent of cost of implementing ICD-10: We will spend $356 million and lose $571 million from decreased productivity.
Plus, the timing of the transition could not be worse. My staff and I are struggling right now to meet many other government-imposed administrative hurdles, including implementing and achieving meaningful use of electronic health records, meeting quality measures under Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting System, and other programs.
Please help me take care of my patients. Please take action immediately to stop ICD-10 implementation. Please tell Speaker Boehner, Chairman Fred Upton, and Chairman Pete Sessions that you want to add the ICD-10 delay to a must-pass piece of legislation during the upcoming 2014 lame duck session.
It is imperative that Congress act to delay ICD-10 before the end of the year.