Many physicians agree, said Dr. David Weiner, a urologist who is part of a four-physician practice on Manhattan's Upper West Side. So far, the changeover has mostly cost his practice time.
"I've gone to several training sessions; we've all been aware ICD-10 was coming, and we felt pressured to be prepared," he said, noting that there is a lot to learn. "The old system had about 13,000 codes, and this one will have about 68,000."
At AdvantEdge, a national physician practice consulting firm in Warren, N.J., Bill Gilbert, vice president for marketing, said his company has worked with physicians, including about 500 doctors in the New York metro area, since 2011 to train their staffs in using ICD-10. "To delay it for a year is very disruptive, costs us money and costs our clients money," Mr. Gilbert said. His own firm was putting its coders through a 20-week ICD-10 training program when the delay was announced. The company will likely slow that timetable, he said.
Many physicians, coders and insurance companies have already spent time and money buying software and training people on the new systems. According to a February 2014 study commissioned by the AMA, the average cost to small practices will run from $57,000 to $226,000. In pushing unsuccessfully to reject a delay, the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, a federal agency, estimated the additional cost of a reprieve at more than $1 billion nationally.
The coming switch has already cost Dr. Christine Doucet both time and money. She owns Patchogue (L.I.) Family Medical Care, a group with three doctors and three physician assistants. The practice has purchased a software update that lets its team use either ICD-10 or ICD-9 codes for now.
"I've been going to conferences on how to use it [ICD-10], and now we'll have to have refresher courses," Dr. Doucet said.
ICD-10 gives everyone—the patient, the providers and the payers—a much better medical record, she and others agreed.