Last week, James Madara -- executive vice president and CEO of the American Medical Association -- sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) asking him to stop the federally mandated implementation of the ICD-10 coding system, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 1/26).
U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures. The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes.
Health care providers and insurers have until Oct. 1, 2013, to adopt new ICD-10 code sets (iHealthBeat, 1/24).
Echoing AMA Resolution
Madara's letter is similar to a resolution that AMA's House of Delegates passed in November 2011 (Modern Healthcare, 1/26).
As part of the resolution, AMA delegates voted to "work vigorously" to stop ICD-10 implementation, saying the health care industry already is overburdened by federal requirements under the health reform law and the meaningful use program (iHealthBeat, 11/15/11).
In his letter, Madara argues that ICD-10 implementation "will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care, and will compete with other costly transitions associated with the quality and health IT reporting program."
Madara noted that health care providers already are facing challenges complying with three federal health IT programs:
- The meaningful use program;
- The electronic prescribing program; and
- The physician quality reporting system.
He asked Boehner to re-evaluate the timelines and penalties for the three programs, adding, "Physicians are being required to meet separate, distinct requirements under these three overlapping programs and have been and will be unfairly penalized if they decide to participate in one program over the other" (Modern Healthcare, 1/26).