The American Medical Association during its semi-annual policy making session has adopted a policy of fighting to stop implementation of the ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure code sets.

The AMA's action comes less than 23 months before the ICD-10 compliance date of Oct. 1, 2013. The Department of Health and Human Services in August 2008 issued a proposed rule to adopt ICD-10 with a compliance date of October 2011.  Following public comment that the deadline was not achievable, the final rule in January 2009 extended the deadline by two years.

In adopting its new policy to oppose ICD-10, the AMA cited a 2008 study showing migration to the code sets would cost a three-physician practice $83,290 and a 10-physician practice $285,195.

"The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patients' care," said Peter Carmel, M.D., AMA president, in a statement. "At a time when we are working to get the best value possible for our health care dollar, this massive and expensive undertaking will add administrative expense and create unnecessary workflow disruptions. The timing could not be worse as many physicians are working to implement electronic health records into their practices. We will continue working to help physicians keep their focus where it should be--on their patients."

The AMA's new policy calls for an assessment for "an appropriate replacement" for the ICD-9 code sets. Following is the policy as adopted:

"RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association vigorously work to stop the implementation of ICD-10 and to reduce its unnecessary and significant burdens on the practice of medicine (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

“RESOLVED, That our AMA do everything possible to let the physicians of America know that our AMA is fighting to repeal the onerous ICD-10 requirements on their behalf. (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

“RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association work with other national and state medical and informatics associations to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9. (Directive to Take Action)"

To view HDM's recent slideshow about the challenges posed by ICD-10, click here.

 

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