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AAFP Joins Dozens of Physician Groups Urging CMS to Halt ICD-10 Implementation
By News Staff
The AMA-instigated action came at the request of its membership and states this clear position: "As you are aware, the American Medical Association's (AMA) House of Delegates approved new policy in November 2012 calling on the AMA to advocate that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) eliminate the implementation of ICD-10 and to immediately reiterate that the burdens imposed by ICD-10 will force many physicians in small practices out of business."
Furthermore, says the letter, "Stopping the implementation of ICD-10 is a critical, necessary step for removing regulatory burdens on physicians and ensuring that small physician practices are able to keep their doors open."
- The AMA, along with the AAFP and 38 other national physician organizations, recently sent a letter to CMS asking the agency to halt implementation of ICD-10.
- The letter cites excessive cost and training burdens on physicians at a time of great upheaval in the health care system.
- Implementation of ICD-10 could cause physicians to lose ground on federal programs that stress lower costs and quality improvement in health care.
"This is a massive administrative and financial undertaking for physicians," says the letter, adding that implementation will require many hours of education, training and testing. "Physicians will be responsible for all of these costs, which, depending on the size of a medical practice, will range from $83,290 to more than $2.7 million."
Moreover, argue the organizations, the timing of the ICD-10 transition is terrible. Physicians are dedicating large amounts of time and money to implement electronic health records (EHRs), and they face financial penalties if they don't successfully participate in a myriad of Medicare programs, including e-prescribing, EHR meaningful use, the Physician Quality Reporting System and the value-based-modifier initiative.
The letter points out that these competing pressures on physician practices could have a negative impact on physicians' ability to participate in new health care delivery and payment reform models "intended to support higher quality, lower cost and more efficient care."
The letter calls on the Obama administration to work with physicians to develop a roadmap that outlines all of the various federal requirements related to physicians in practice "to ensure that the timelines are synchronized to the greatest degree possible to minimize the burdens on physicians."
"Stopping the implementation of ICD-10 and calling on appropriate stakeholders to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9 will help keep adoption of EHRs and physician participation in delivery and payment reform models on track and reduce costly burdens on physician practices," concludes the letter.
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Physician Groups Advocate Halting ICD-10 Implementation