Thursday, January 26, 2012

AMA CEO asks House Speaker to halt ICD-10

The CEO of the American Medical Association has asked House Speaker John Boehner to halt the switch to ICD-10-CM in a letter dated January 17, 2012.

Excerpts from the letter:

The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care, and will compete with other costly transitions associated with quality and health IT reporting programs.

The timing of the ICD-10 transition that is scheduled for October 1, 2013, could not be worse as
many physicians are currently spending significant time and resources implementing electronic health
records (EHRs) into their practices.

Physicians must significantly invest in health IT while Medicare payment rates are falling farther below the practice cost inflation each year because of the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula (SGR).

Stopping the implementation of ICD-10, and calling on appropriate stakeholders including physicians, hospitals, payers, national and state medical and informatics associations, to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9 will help to keep adoption of EHRs and physician participation in quality and health IT programs on track and reduce costly burdens on physician practices.

Our only question is, what took you so long, AMA?

We've been saying these things for a long time.