The AMA recently endorsed a new bill called “The Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015”. The bill is the latest attempt to kill the scheduled October 1st, 2015 ICD-10 implementation. The endorsement came by way of a letter from AMA’s CEO, James Madara, MD, to Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), who sponsored the bill.
Dr. Madara stated, “The timing of the ICD-10 transition could not be worse as many physicians are currently spending significant time and resources implementing electronic health records into their practices and adopting new payment and delivery models,”
We believe that even with the AMA’s endorsement of this bill, that The Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015 is DOA. Remember the Republican Congress just considered the ICD-10 issue in February and the members of The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.), showed bipartisan unity in backing the transition from ICD-9 to -10 without further delay. “The United States is one of the few countries that has yet to adopt this most modern coding system,” said Energy and Commerce chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
We agree that CMS botched the timing of the ICD-10 implementation again. They squandered an opportunity to “fix” Meaningful Use Stages 1 & 2 last year. Now, just around the time that ICD-10 will begin, physicians will also need to comply with the latest version of the Meaningful Use rule. Remember a new proposed rule for 2015-2017 is currently in the comment period and we don’t expect the final rule till the summer. Many physicians will be struggling to meet the latest Meaningful Use objectives at the same time they are transitioning to the new code system. Frustrating? Yes, but our advice is to continue to prepare for ICD-10, it looks like there will be no last minute reprieve.