The American Medical Association is asking House Speaker John Boehner to help stop implementation of the ICD-10 code sets and call on the industry to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9, The Hill newspaper reports.

“The implementation of ICD-10 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 quality and health I.T. reporting programs,” the association contends in the three-page letter.

The AMA’s House of Delegates in November 2011 voted for the association to activity work to end ICD-10 implementation. AMA Board Chairman Robert Wah, M.D., soon afterward suggested that the vote was an “aspirational statement” as everyone recognized the limitations of what can be done. “If we interpret their policy incorrectly, they’ll be the first to tell us,” he added.

Now, it appears the hard line is winning the debate. In the letter to Boehner, the AMA also asks that Congress re-evaluate timelines for penalties in the federal electronic prescribing, PQRS and meaningful use programs. “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.”

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