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Monday, June 15, 2015

States, AMA Seek Two-Year ICD-10 Grace Period

We still want to stop the mandatory implementation of the ICD-10 coding system on Oct. 1. But the congressional tea leaves don’t look very promising right now. That’s why the Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association House of Delegates worked hard to pass a resolution that offers physicians a solid backup plan. Today, we are finalizing a letter — along with the three other largest state medical societies — calling on the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement a two-year grace period during which:
  • Physicians will not be penalized for errors, mistakes, and/or malfunctions of the system; and
  • Physician payments will not be reduced or withheld based on ICD-10 coding mistakes.
Coming next will be a call for physicians to write Congress to ask our senators and representatives to push CMS on the grace period. “The bottom line is that ICD-10 will significantly overwhelm physician practices with a 400-percent increase in the number of codes physicians must use for diagnosis, which will take time away from the valuable one-on-one patient-physician interface that is the hallmark of taking the best care of patients,” said AMA Trustee Russ Kridel, MD, of Houston. “Coding and billing protocols should never get in the way of patients receiving high-quality care.”

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