Healthcare Business News

AMA continues fight against ICD-10 mandate

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: November 13, 2012 - 3:15 pm ET

The American Medical Association reaffirmed its commitment "to vigorously work" against the nationwide adoption of ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural codes while evaluating the feasibility of skipping directly to ICD-11 codes, which are expected to be introduced in 2015.

The AMA House of Delegates adopted a resolution at its annual meeting in Chicago this summer to weigh skipping ICD-10 and debated the issue again Monday during its interim meeting in Honolulu after two related resolutions were put on the meeting's agenda.

A resolution introduced by the Florida delegation cited an $80,000-per-physician implementation cost for ICD-10 and noted that—for all its complexity—ICD-10 does not include codes for genomic information. The resolution called for the AMA to "vigorously advocate" that the CMS "eliminate the implementation of ICD-10" and wait for ICD-11 to be adopted. Other state delegations, such as Texas', have also fiercely opposed ICD-10 implementation.

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Another resolution, put forward by the American College of Rheumatology, called for the AMA to work with the CMS to "transition directly" to ICD-11 on Oct. 1, 2017.

In its report (PDF), the committee reviewing the issue recommended amending the first resolution to reiterate the AMA's concerns to the CMS. The amended resolution noted that "burdens imposed by ICD-10" implementation would force many small practices to close.

Delegates followed the panel's recommendation of approving the amended version of the Florida delegation's resolution rather than the American College of Rheumatology's, which, according to the committee's report, might be interpreted as a blanket endorsement of ICD-11.

The AMA board of trustees is working on its own report exploring the feasibility of going straight to ICD-11; that report is scheduled to be ready for delegates to review at the next annual meeting in June 2013.

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