Family Physicians Applaud Flexibility in Transition to ICD-10

Monday, July 6, 2015

Statement attributable to:
Robert Wergin, MD
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

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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