Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Doctors and patients are ICD-10 losers

In a previous post, we identified the entities that stand to benefit from the switch to ICD-10-CM, namely companies that sell software to the healthcare industry.  Through forced upgrades to accommodate ICD-10-CM and new products to help healthcare providers negotiate the switch, they are benefitting to the tune of billions of dollars.

As noted by us, the Department of Veterans Affairs alone is spending $211 million on software and related services to help them with the switch.  State governments are similarly outlaying hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade the systems that manage their Medicaid programs (note: another loser in the switch is the taxpayer).  And of course doctors and hospitals have to buy new versions of their billing/administrative and EHR systems.

Recent news reminds us, however, that among the losers are patients and doctors.  So if you are a recipient of healthcare, then you will lose in the switch to ICD-10-CM.

The main impact?  Doctors spending more time (than they do now) with medical records coders to ensure they get the correct code, so your insurance company will pay your doctor for your care.  That means the doctor spending less time with you.

Given the 15 minute rush appointments you have today, that sounds terrible.  We should stop the switch!