Family Physicians Applaud Flexibility in Transition to ICD-10

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Monday, July 6, 2015

Statement attributable to:
Robert Wergin, MD
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians applauds CMS for taking actions to ease the transition to ICD-10. Taken altogether, these provisions will enable family physicians to bill accurately, be paid appropriately, and provide continued access to care for patients.

“The AAFP has advocated for several of these changes, including a one year grace period on coding specificity within families of ICD-10 codes, which will enable family physician offices to keep with up the ICD-10 transition without threatening their financial viability.

“We have called for additional appeals and agency monitoring for reporting systems that determine appropriate payment for medical services based on quality measures and meaningful use of electronic health records.

“Finally, the AAFP urged CMS to expand advanced payment options for physicians, which will ensure that physician practices have an adequate revenue flow to maintain financial stability during the transition.

“We are gratified that CMS has addressed our concerns in a substantive way. These important changes will ease the transition to ICD-10 for family physicians and alleviate the threat of claims disruptions, which could devastate family physician practices and threaten patients’ access to care.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Wergin, contact Megan Moriarty, 800-274-2237, Ext. 5223, or mmoriarty@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions(5 page PDF) on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit
www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).