Dou­bled doubt and dis­ap­point­ment in SGR and ICD-10 de­lays

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing “SGR, ICD-10 ex­ten­sions ap­proved by Se­nate,” (Mod­ern­Health­, March 31), one-year sus­tain­able growth-rate fixes can be funded an­nu­ally, but the pro­jec­tion over the next three decades for a per­ma­nent fix is a budget buster. Nei­ther Democrats nor Repub­li­cans are will­ing to take the blame for in­creas­ing the pro­jected na­tional debt by the hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars that the SGR re­peal will re­quire.

To com­pound the SGR dis­ap­point­ment, we face los­ing the sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments we have made in ICD-10. These in­vest­ments will not keep on the shelf for a year. My com­mu­nity hospi­tal has spent thou­sands of man hours, and hun­dreds of thou­sands to mil­lions of dol­lars pre­par­ing for Oct. 1.

Now, it looks as if we will have to do it all again next year, but af­ter two aborted start dates, who knows? Why not go ahead with ICD-10 con­ver­sion this Oc­to­ber but al­low laggards to sub­mit ICD-9 bills for six to 12 months? The CMS and the pri­vate plans would need to con­tinue their con­ver­sions but be tech­ni­cally able to re­ceive billing in ei­ther ICD-9 or ICD-10, which may not be pos­si­ble. Maybe we should just wait an­other year and adopt ICD-11.

Dr. James Mhyre

Ever­green Health

Kirk­land, Wash.

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