ICD-10 is the biggest change facing the health care industry since the introduction of Medicare, said Robert Tennant at the Medical Group Management Association annual conference in San Antonio.

Tennant, MGMA’s senior policy analyst, made the comparison based on the depth and breadth of the new coding system’s impact. Set to launch in October 2014, the new coding system “will impact every information system, process and transaction,” Tennant told attendees at the group’s annual convention. And like Medicare, ICD-10 will sport a hefty price tag. Tennant presented MGMA data suggesting that a three-physician group practice faces a conversion cost of $84,000, including system costs, training and lost productivity. For a larger group of 100 physicians, the cost would be $2.7 million; estimates that Tennant says are conservative.

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