AHIMA: ICD-10 Implementation Must Stay on Track

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is working on a response to a letter issued by the American Medical Association (AMA) calling for the cancelation of ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation.

According to an article in EHR Intelligence, CMS said it is “working collaboratively with all industry leaders for the ICD-10 implementation” and would develop a reply to the AMA letter.

The letter, issued December 20 to CMS’ Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, is the latest effort by the physician group to halt the ICD-10 implementation, which it wrote “will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care.”

The AMA states ICD-10 will be too costly to implement and will disrupt physicians efforts to meet other government initiatives, including the push for health IT adoption through the “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program, and the move to value-based payment reform models of care.

But while physicians may feel overburdened by the ICD-10 implementation and other healthcare changes, moving the industry to ICD-10 is necessary and it must stay on track for the October 1, 2014 compliance deadline, stated a letter sent by AHIMA officials on January 9 to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The AHIMA letter states that the current ICD-9-CM code set is outdated and unable to expand to reflect new medicine. Since the development of ICD-11 is decades away, AHIMA officials stated ICD-10 is the necessary stepping stone to update the US medical code system and create better data for both billing and clinical care. ICD-10 shouldn’t be implemented in a silo, AHIMA said, but integrated into other initiatives like meaningful use and the move to value-based reimbursement.

1 Comment

  1. The biggest issue I see with ICD10 implementation is not physician readiness. The biggest issue is how to implement ACA and the exchange programs during the same year as ICD10 adoption. The Exchanges, and Medicare Advantage programs are all funded based on risk adjustment derived from diagnositic coding. How can we possibly implement all the ACA mandates, Medicaid risk data collection, and continue with Medicare Advantage that are dependent on the I9 code? Furthermore, right in the middle of the first year of ACA adoption- we change the entire coding system? Did anyone think that one through?

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