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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Feb 12 2012   8:57PM GMT

AMA continues to oppose the implementation of ICD-10

Posted by: RedaChouffani

On Feb. 2, the American Medical Association (AMA)’s CEO has urged HHS and congress once again, to halt the ICD-10 conversion. In a letter to secretary Kathleen Sebelius, James Madara, MD stated “On behalf of the physician and medical student members of the AMA, I am writing to urge you to immediately halt the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) required implementation of ICD-10, and re-evaluate the penalty program timelines associated with the number of Medicare health IT programs underway today”.

In the letter address to congress in January, Dr. Madara also urged House Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) to block the mandate to ICD-10 scheduled for Oct. 1, 2013.

“Stopping the implementation of ICD-10, and calling on appropriate stakeholders including physicians, hospitals, payers, national and state medical and informatics associations, to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9 will help to keep adoption of EMRs and physician participation in quality and health IT programs on track and reduce costly burdens on physician practices,” Dr. Madara stated.

While the AMA has voiced clear opposition to the switch to ICD-10, highlighting the complexity and burden it puts on physicians, there are several groups who are proponents for the transition. For example, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has voiced strong support for the new code set as well as many of the areas it will benefit long term.

As the deadline for the switch gets closer, it is critical to ensure full organizational readiness for the switch. Since there are many areas affected by the transition  — including EHRs, clinical support tools, and administrative and billing function — all areas of the organization must come together and ensure that they are prepared, and that preparation must be underway now.

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