Physicians still reluctant to embrace ICD-10 implementation

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

I don't see a lot of physicians who are fans of ICD-10 implementation. I can understand why physicians don't see a lot of upside to ICD-10 coding - just costs.

I also understand attitude can make a big difference when it comes to making or breaking new initiatives. It helps find silver linings around clouds. They're not going to find any silver linings when a surgeon is asked about what he can gain from ICD-10 implementation and answers, "Only more work, more wasted time and less payment."

Massoud Alibakhsh, president and CEO of Nuesoft Technologies, has an interesting list of why physicians are resisting ICD-10 implementation:

  1. Deadline Seemed Like a Moving Target
  2. Added Strain on Resources
  3. Increased Costs
  4. Reimbursements Could Be Negatively Affected
  5. Fear of the Unknown

I would like to add stubbornness to the list.

Meanwhile, Rhonda Buckhotz lists why there's no need to fear ICD-10

  1. It won't cost as much as they think. The upgrades to outdates systems will do more than take ICD-10 codes.
  2. Productivity will suffered greatly in other countries because they moved from much older systems to electronic health records (EHRs). The learning curve incorporated more than ICD-10 coding.
"It won't change the way you practice medicine"
A lot of the extra codes won't be needed in medical practices. The number of extra ICD-10 codes will be less than feared.
The superbill is going to take a hit so medical practices will need to devise new forms to capture encounter information.

Basically, ICD-10 implementation isn't going to work if physicians don't look for ways to make it work for them.