The American Medical Association (AMA), at its November 15, 2011, House of Delegates meeting, voted to “work vigorously to stop implementation of ICD-10.” The AMA contends that ICD-10 (scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2013, and impact virtually every physician and healthcare organization in the country) will not benefit patients and will create “significant burdens” on medical practices. Whether lawmakers will be influenced by the AMA’s stance is yet to be seen, but no matter what unfolds between now and next October, it will be important for all practices to keep an eye on this situation, continue to gather good information, and prepare for change. Here are several good resources to help you get the facts you need about ICD-10.
If you’re interested in following the AMA’s activities around this issue, start here (scroll down to the paragraph labeled “Stop the Implementation of ICD-10”), then check their Web site regularly for updates. Read an article from Medscape Today News about the AMA’s action here . (You’ll have to sign up for a free account to access Medscape, if you don’t already have one.)
For the view from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS information page here . At this site you can sign up for e-mail updates and follow the CMS on Twitter.
The AAPC, an association founded in 1998 to provide education and certifications for professional coders, offers good information on their Web site . The organization offers two-day trainings around the country as well as on-site training and assessments to help practices prepare for next October.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Web site features extensive information on the transition to ICD-10, including a comprehensive FAQ section that you may find helpful. This organization also offers educational seminars, a wide array of webinars and publications (some for free, some for purchase) and a list of available trainers.
For ICD-10 information that is more specific to your practice, check with the specialty associations (American College of Physicians, American Association of Family Physicians, American College of Surgeons, etc.). Your local county or state medical society should also have information on local resources and training. This is a good time to make use of your association and professional organization memberships.