AMA Calls For 2-Year Grace Period Before ICD-10 Penalties

The American Medical Association is pushing for a two-year grace period for ICD-10 penalties, a decision that would “allow physicians to continue providing quality care to their patients without undue disruption.”

The deadline for implementation of the ICD-10 procedure coding is in four months. The AMA, which is currently meeting for its annual policy gathering in Chicago, says implementation will “significantly overwhelm” physician practices by increasing the number of codes by 400 percent.

It “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 Russell W.H. Kridel, MD, member of the AMA Board of Trustees, in a statement. “We continue to press both Congress and the administration to take necessary steps to avoid widespread disruption to physician practices created by this overly complex and burdensome mandate. Coding and billing protocols should never get in the way of patients receiving high quality care.”

In 2014, ICD-10 implementation was pushed back a year after being tacked onto a bill that issued yet another doc-fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate. Last May, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a hard compliance date of Oct. 1, 2015, which basically established the only way to change the date would be congressional approval.

The ICD-10 system is meant to simplify hospital codes for medical procedures.

Posted in News, Physicians.