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Physicians still reluctant to embrace ICD-10 implementation

Carl Natale's picture
By Carl Natale, ICD10Watch.com

I don't see a lot of physicians who are fans of ICD-10 implementation. I can understand why physicians don't see a lot of upside to ICD-10 coding - just costs.

I also understand attitude can make a big difference when it comes to making or breaking new initiatives. It helps find silver linings around clouds. They're not going to find any silver linings when a surgeon is asked about what he can gain from ICD-10 implementation and answers, "Only more work, more wasted time and less payment."

Massoud Alibakhsh, president and CEO of Nuesoft Technologies, has an interesting list of why physicians are resisting ICD-10 implementation:

  1. Deadline Seemed Like a Moving Target
  2. Added Strain on Resources
  3. Increased Costs
  4. Reimbursements Could Be Negatively Affected
  5. Fear of the Unknown

I would like to add stubbornness to the list.

Meanwhile, Rhonda Buckhotz lists why there's no need to fear ICD-10

  1. It won't cost as much as they think. The upgrades to outdates systems will do more than take ICD-10 codes.
  2. Productivity will suffered greatly in other countries because they moved from much older systems to electronic health records (EHRs). The learning curve incorporated more than ICD-10 coding.
"It won't change the way you practice medicine"
A lot of the extra codes won't be needed in medical practices. The number of extra ICD-10 codes will be less than feared.
The superbill is going to take a hit so medical practices will need to devise new forms to capture encounter information.

Basically, ICD-10 implementation isn't going to work if physicians don't look for ways to make it work for them.


Carl Natale blogs regularly at ICD10Watch.com.

As a physician my biggest objection to ICD-10-CM is the “CM”. This will be used as a tool to implement the “Value Based Purchasing” initiative. Essentially what will happen is that based on your success and failures you be be forced fit on a bell shaped curve that reflects your value. Some physicians will be a great value to the community some others, not so much. Your pay will be dependent on where you fit on this bell shaped curve. Given that who decides what the metrics are for this curve and what these metrics will be, allow the illusion that no such thing exists. Bottom line, at some future time, someone is going to be picking the winners and losers of the physician pay lottery. My concern is four fold. One that the metrics will not be an accurate reflection on the worth of a particular physician, two that this will be tool to balance the budget, three every physician will have a batting average that the public can use to determine where they go and that this batting average may not be a true measure of his worth and four physicians will be forced to use government approved evidence based medicine even if they believe that that these studies are flawed. I support ICD-10 not ICD-10-CM.


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