The American Medical Association just issued a report stating that transition costs relating to ICD-10 will be three times higher than initially expected back in 2008. ICD-10, which is the switch in billing coding, increases the number of total codes from 14,000 to over 68,000. There are multiple reasons for these new findings. Back in 2008 when Nachimson Advisors conducted their report, other federal mandates including Meaningful Use and payment reform were not part of their projections.
The AMA is in favor of pushing back the implementation of ICD-10 because of the financial burden physicians and physician groups will face on October 1st. James L. Madara, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the AMA believes "physicians are facing serious financial obstacles from multiple sources," including purchasing EHR software, the two percent cut to Medicare reimbursement due to sequestration, and another two percent reduction if Medicare ePrescribing is not met.
Depending on the size of your practice or group, the costs of these implementations are substantial. A Nachimson Advisors report from 2008 concluded that a small practice would spend up to $83,290 to implement ICD-10, $285,195 for a medium size practice, and up to $2,728,780 for a large practice. In an article featured in Healthcare IT News, the AMA's new report issued these findings which shows costs being exponentially higher than expected:
- Small practice: $56,639-$226,105
- Medium practice: $213,364-$824,735
- Large practice: $2,017,151-$8,018,364
If you add on additional disruptions and productivity losses due to ICD-10 implementation, the numbers are truly staggering. This crushing burden on physicians has led the AMA to take a stance and are in favor of delaying this implementation yet again.
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Image by Renee Stantz, CPC via medicaleconimics.com