This month’s Repertoire cover story focuses on the conversion to the ICD-10 system for your customers. While providers have until October 2013 to make the transition to ICD-10, they are under the gun to switch to Version 5010 now. That’s because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will only be accepting electronic claims in that format. Though the deadline for implementation is Jan. 1, 2012, the feds have given providers a grace period of 90 days before they initiate enforcement action.

For the full article, visit, but here were some interesting thoughts from those interviewed:


“The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patients’ care,” Peter W. Carmel, M.D., AMA president, was quoted as saying. “At a time when we are working to get the best value possible for our healthcare dollar, this massive and expensive undertaking will add administrative expense and create unnecessary workflow disruptions. The timing could not be worse, as many physicians are working to implement electronic health records into their practices. We will continue working to help physicians keep their focus where it should be – on their patients.”

“We’re way behind the game,” says Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPMA, CPC-1, CGSC, COBGC, CPEDC, CENTC, vice president of ICD-10 education and training, American Academy of Professional Coders. “We can’t compare [U.S. health data] internationally.” ICD-9 served its purpose by establishing a uniform, national standard, she says. “Before that, carriers could come up with their own local codes. They didn’t have to follow a certain standard or set of rules. It was really willy nilly.” That said, ICD-9 has outlived its usefulness, she says.

“There’s no doubt that getting more granular codes will improve quality of data, assuming that the more granular codes are actually used,” says Robert Tennant, senior policy adviser, Medical Group Management Association. “The granularity issue also gets into some very important payment questions. It gets into reimbursement and the specificity issue.”


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