Physician Practice

Costs, transition plan focus of House hearing on ICD-10

Physician Practice Insider, February 24, 2015

Implementation costs and plans took center stage at The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on health’s ICD-10 Implementation hearing yesterday. Seven witnesses testified before the subcommittee about the benefits of ICD-10 implementation. Members of the committee then asked witnesses a wide range of questions. Six of the witnesses were pro-ICD-10. The lone voice against came from William Jefferson Terry, MD, a practicing urologist from Alabama who represented the American Urological Association.

Although the Congressional committee members weren’t quite 100% pro-ICD-10, most conceded that the move to ICD-10-CM/PCS was indeed needed. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) did urge no more delays and Rep. Chris Collins (R- New York) said we should get ICD-10 sooner rather than later.

Not surprisingly, the cost of the transition came up repeatedly and the projected costs varied widely. Edward M. Burke, MD, from the Beyer Medical Group in Missouri, told the subcommittee that his small practice (two physicians and three nurse practitioners) was already using ICD-10 and they had no problems making the switch. He also said they incurred no additional costs. Their software vendor handled all of the transition work.

“We did not have special training,” Burke said. “We did not spend any money in preparation. We did not see less patients and our practice did not suffer. As providers, it was not frustrating or scary. It just was.”
Rich Averill, director of public policy for 3M Health Information Systems, brought up the just-published Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) survey that put the costs of implementing ICD-10 for a small practice at approximately $8,000. He also mentioned that two other recent studies put the costs even lower.

Read more via the ICD-10 Trainer blog.

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