The cost for physician practices to implement ICD-10 medical diagnosis and in-patient procedure codes may not be anywhere near as high as feared, according to recent data from the American Association of Professional Coders.

According to AAPC’s Rhonda Buckholtz, vice president of education and training, a clinet analysis has found that “ICD-10 ready” medical practices with fewer than 10 providers have spent approximately $750 per person to prepare for the mandate," as reported in a podcast. "And the cost is even less for practices with 10 to 49 providers. To put this into context, AAPC has trained over 90,000 people toward some piece of ICD-10 implementation, making this cost information all the more compelling."

Results of a separate recent ICD-10 national survey of 349 stakeholders, including 101 clinics/physician practices, found that nearly 42 percent of respondents have spent less than $100,000 on the code transition and almost 15 percent have spent between $100,000 and $500,000 to date.  

However, the one-year delay in the ICD-10 compliance deadline is expected to cost healthcare organizations more money to get ready for the code switchover. When it comes to the additional costs associated with the ICD-10 extension, almost 31 percent of respondents to the survey project that they will spend less than $100,000, while a little more than 12 percent anticipate spending between $100,000 and $500,000 to be ready by October 1, 2015.

Overall, the American Health Information Management Association estimates that another one-year delay of ICD-10 will cost the healthcare industry an additional $1 billion to $6.6 billion on top of the already incurred costs from the previous one-year delay.    

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