Last month, Republican Congressman Ted Poe introduced a bill to the House of Representatives that would not just delay ICD-10, but abolish it all together. With the ICD-10 elimination bill introduced in the Senate, you would think it had a chance to pass. Not so sure. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) also has put forward the same bill, the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2013, in the Senate. Because Tom Coburn is a Physician, he may be able to present a case. Coburn feels that ICD-10 is “filled with redundancies and unnecessary intricacies.” He believes that physicians will “devote more time and energy toward coding, which may detract from patient care.” Claiming there are uncertain benefits to implementing the vastly more detailed code set, he writes that “it is hard to imagine that increasing the number of codes from 18,000 to 140,000 would simplify billing and reduce errors.
The Senators are suggesting that Congress get involved with discussing the risks and benefits of using ICD-10codes, and is asking that HHS take another look at moving forward with the implementation. Will this pass? I highly doubt it. Obama’s administration is completely focused on modernizing and advancing health IT and its associated initiatives. Somewhat hard to swallow when the consequences do not hit the administration, however can completely cripple a practice, and leave its cash flow in the lurch.
Fasten your seat belts! Let’s see where this goes.