Healthcare Business News
Dr. James Madara

AMA chief asks Boehner to stop ICD-10

By Joseph Conn
Posted: January 26, 2012 - 12:30 pm ET

Dr. James Madara, executive vice president and CEO of the American Medical Association, has asked House Speaker John Boehner to stop the federally mandated implementation upgrade in October 2013 of the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision of diagnostic and procedural codes "and to call on stakeholders to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9."

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Madara's letter (PDF) echoes a resolution that the AMA's House of Delegates passed in November to resist ICD-10 and rally physicians against "its unnecessary and significant burdens on the practice of medicine."

Madara said the ICD-10 mandate "will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care, and will compete with other costly transitions associated with the quality and health IT reporting program." He added that the timing of the transition "could not be worse as many physicians are currently spending significant time and resources implementing electronic health records (EHR) into their practices."

Madara also said more needs to be done to synchronize three key federal health information technology programs: those pertaining to electronic prescribing, the meaningful use of EHR systems and the physician quality reporting system. He asked Boehner to re-evaluate the programs' timelines with regard to penalties for noncompliance or nonparticipation.

"Physicians are being required to meet separate, distinct requirements under these three overlapping programs and have been and will be unfairly penalized if they decide to participate in one program over the other," Madara said.

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