ICD-10 coding requirement is a no-benefit, no-payment burden

LETTER — Posted Nov. 12, 2012

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As a family doctor with 25 years under my belt, I have seen many changes in the job we do every day. Unfortunately, many of the recent changes have cost us time and money to provide with no financial payoff. One of the most galling is how we have all agreed to start providing yet another free service, coding with the ICD-10.

In my practice, the doctors do all the coding. As the number of possible codes increase, so does the waste of precious time taken away from our patients. I can see no benefit from this change to doctors’ daily practice or to patients’ care.

I do not know how other practices handle coding, but they will have to pay to update existing electronic health records, if possible, or buy coding books to fully stock all care areas.

If this implementation is inevitable, why are we not being reimbursed for each patient we see, as it will become an ongoing expense due to time lost?

If the ICD-10 is implemented, I am sure this will be one more reason that adds to the high percentage of physician burnout. It is time to just say no to ICD-10.

Thomas Andersen, MD, Lancaster , Pa.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/11/12/edlt1112.htm.

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