More on Policy and Legislation

AMA pushes back on ICD-10

Tom Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare IT News

The American Medical Association (AMA) on Tuesday said that its delegates are working to stop implementation of ICD-10.

[Also: ICD-10: Will you be ready?]

"The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patients' care," Peter W. Carmel, M.D., AMA president said in a prepared statement.

At the 65th Interim Meeting of the AMA in New Orleans, in fact, "the AMA House of Delegates voted to work vigorously to stop implementation of ICD-10," primarily on the grounds that the "timing could not be worse" for this "massive and expensive undertaking" brings too little benefit to physicians, and will prove disruptive as they also work to implement EHRs and demonstrate meaningful use.

Citing a 2008 study, AMA explained that projected costs of converting to the unfunded code sets mandate will cost even a three-physician practice $84,000 and slightly more than $285,000 for a 10-physician group.

[Also: ICD10 and HIPAA 5010 - Game Changers]

During the interim meeting the resolution was first introduced by Alabama and Mississippi delegations, the American Association of Clinical Urologists and the American Urological Association.

"ICD-10 does nothing to improve care of patients," said Mobile, Ala., urologist Jeff Terry, MD, a delegate for the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, according to an amednews report.

As part of its statement, AMA explained that it "will continue working to help physicians keep their focus where it should be – on their patients."