The controversial delay of ICD-10 implementation was based in part on the perceived time, cost, and lost productivity for physician offices to perform the necessary assessment, training, software conversions, testing, and “super bill” updates.
However, current evidence suggests that the initial estimates of the costs and effort associated with ICD-10 implementation for physician offices has been overestimated and that vendors, health plans, and physicians have made considerable progress with fewer resources than had been previously estimated.
This article will re-examine the estimated costs for ICD-10 conversion for a typical small physician practice based on results from recent surveys and published reports, as well as ICD-10 conversion experience with numerous hospitals and physicians.
The new data suggests that the estimated costs, time, and resources required by physician offices are dramatically lower than initially estimated as a result of readily available free and low cost solutions offered by coding education and software vendors. The revised estimated costs for ICD-10 for a small practice to be prepared for the conversion to ICD-10 is in the range of $1,960-$5,900, where a small practice is defined as three physicians and two impacted staff such as coders and/or front desk/back office personnel.
Estimates of ICD-10 training and costs for a physician practice typically include the costs of a coding book, coder training for impacted office staff, web-based training for physicians and the lost productivity time required for these activities.
A recent 2014 update of a widely referenced 2008 report by Nachimson Advisors to the American Medical Association estimated the cost for a small practice to implement ICD-10 was in the range of $22,560 to $105,506, which is substantially higher than the $1,960 to $5,900 estimated in this article.
There are a number of reasons why the cost estimates reported in this article are lower.
Click here to read the full article “Cost of Converting Small Physician Offices to ICD-10 Much Lower than Previously Reported” by Thomas C. Kravis, MD, Susan Belley, MEd, RHIA, Donna M. Smith, RHIA, and Richard F. Averill, MS.