Code worry

Docs say ICD-10 im­ple­men­ta­tion car­ries hefty cost

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK IN HEALTHCARE - Joseph Conn and Andis Robeznieks

With 16 months left be­fore the CMS ex­pects the health­care in­dus­try to flip the switch to ICD-10, physi­cians are still ex­press­ing sig­nif­i­cant worries with the readi­ness of the tech­nol­ogy that has to be up­graded to pull it off. They’re also sig­nal­ing res­ig­na­tion that the long-de­layed con­ver­sion will re­ally hap­pen this time.

In a sur­vey of more than 1,000 of­fice­based physi­cian prac­tices by the trade group MGMA, more than half of the re­spon­dents in­di­cated they were “very con­cerned” about the over­all cost of the con­ver­sion to the new di­ag­no­sis and pro­ce­dure codes, sched­uled for Oct. 1, 2014.

Roughly 70% said they were very con­cerned that it will make clin­i­cians less pro­duc­tive, and the same per­cent­age were very con­cerned about changes to clin­i­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion.

Prac­tices es­ti­mated that it will cost about $10,000 per physi­cian to up­grade or re­place their EHRs to use ICD-10 codes, with 60% in­di­cat­ing their sys­tems still need to be up­graded and only half re­port­ing that they had heard from their ven­dor when that up­grade will be avail­able.

“That’s one of our main con­cerns,” said Robert Ten­nant, MGMA’s se­nior pol­icy ad­viser. “You can’t start the test­ing with your ex­ter­nal part­ners un­til you have your in­ter­nal sys­tems in place.”

The Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion’s House of Del­e­gates, which has fought vig­or­ously to stave off the con­ver­sion and con­tin­ues to op­pose it, voted last week to push a phased roll­out over two years if the CMS sticks to the 2014 date.

“I’m afraid that ICD-10, with its one­day im­ple­men­ta­tion pe­riod, will be the fi­nal nail in the cof­fin for small prac­tices,” said Dr. W. Jeff Terry, a urol­o­gist from Mo­bile, Ala., and the for­mer pres­i­dent of the Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion of the State of Alabama.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.