ICD-10 to be more expensive for physician practices than estimated

The implementation cost for the ICD-10 code set is predicted to be up to three times more expensive than previously estimated for physician practices, according to a recently published study.
“The markedly higher implementation costs for ICD-10 place a crushing burden on physicians, straining vital resources needed to invest in new health care delivery models and well-developed technology that promotes care coordination with real value to patients,” Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, president of the American Medical Association, stated in a press release.
Putting ICD-10 into place on Oct. 1 will expand the number of diagnosis codes from the current 14,000 to 68,000, which brings with it a substantial dollar investment for physicians. The predicted cost associated with ICD-10 adoption in 2008 was $83,290 for a small practice, $285,195 for a medium practice and $2,728,780 for a large practice. A recent study conducted by Nachimson Advisors, who were also the authors of study behind the 2008 predictions, found an increase in the range of costs practices of all sizes will be expected to incur.

In the 2014 study, small practices can be expected to pay from $56,639 to $226,105, medium practices from $213,364 to $824,735 and large practices from $2,017,151 to $8,018,364.
The study tabulated the costs encompass software upgrades, training, practice assessments, testing, payment disruptions and physicians’ productivity loss.
The AMA issued a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reconsider the mandated implementation of ICD-10.
“Physicians are being asked to assume this burdensome requirement at the same time they are being required to adopt new technology, re-engineer workflow and reform the way they deliver care; all of which are interfering with their ability to care for patients and make investments to improve quality," the letter states.


The Cost of Implementing ICD‐10 for Physician Practices – Updating the 2008 Nachimson Advisors Study: A Report to the American Medical Association.