The costs of ICD-10 implementation for small physician practices are significantly less than some earlier estimates, according to results of a new survey by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management.

PAHCOM, which represents office managers of hundreds of solo and small physician practices across the country, surveyed members on the cost of transitioning to ICD-10. The survey of 276 physician practices of fewer than six providers found total ICD-10 related costs for an entire practice averaged $8,167, while per provider expenditures averaged $3,430. 

The results of the PAHCOM survey, published Feb. 10 in the Journal of AHIMA, are more in line with separate estimates published in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of AHIMA, which found that the ICD-10 conversion costs for a small practice are in the range of $1,900 to $5,900.

Both estimates are in stark contrast to a 2014 update of a widely referenced 2008 report by Nachimson Advisors to the American Medical Association which estimated the cost for a small practice to implement ICD-10 was in the range of $22,560 to $105,506.

Possible reasons for the numerical differences between the PAHCOM study and the AMA’s often cited figures could be newly available educational and training materials, new resources from the vendor community, and the increasing adoption of electronic health records by providers, which have helped to ease some transition expenses and concerns, the authors conclude.

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