Implementing the new ICD-10 codes will cost the typical small medical practice (three doctors and two administrative staffers) $83,200; the typical medium-size practice (10 providers, six staffers, one full-time coder) $285,195; and the typical large practice (100 providers, 54 medical records staffers, 10-full-time coders) almost $2.73 million, according to a new study conducted by Reisterstown, Md.-based Nachimson Advisors, a healthcare information technology consultant.
The study was funded by 11 medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association, and it researched the costs associated with replacing the current ICD-9 codes with the new, more detailed ICD-10 system by 2011 as proposed by HHS.
Some of the costs would be one-time only, such as staff training, changing superbills to include 10 times as many codes, upgrading IT systems and insurance plan review, the study concluded. Cash flow disruption during the transition was listed as the second-largest cost, and would equal $19,500 for the typical small practice, $65,000 for the medium-size practice and $650,000 for large practices. (For a longer version of this story, please click here.) -- by Andis Robeznieks