House Hears Witnesses On Changes to Diagnostic Codes

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been hearing witnesses as it decides on whether to delay the deadline on implementing ICD-10 which changes requirements for diagnostic practices in the health industry. The House deadline for implementation of ICD-10 is October 1, 2015, a deadline which was reached after two previous delays since its first deadline on October 1, 2013.

The proposed changes to diagnostic practices are being adopted from WHO recommendations. The changes are meant to modernize medical practices including patient care and research, as well as helping prevent billing fraud. The witnesses were called to testify on the readiness of the industry and the cost of the transition.

“Either IDC-10 is worth doing, or it’s not. If it is, then stick to the deadline this year. Pull the trigger, or pull the plug,” said Kristi Matus, the chief financial and administrative officer of medical software maker Athenahealth.

Many of the witnesses supported the October deadline for implementation but some had concerns of the burden the new codes place on physicians.

“Physicians have to have a guarantee that we’re going to get paid if we don’t code right. You’re not going to pay me because I code it wrong? Some doctors won’t be able to do it. Do they deserve the death sentence and be put out of business?” said Dr. Terry, representing the American Urological Association before the Committee.


Read More – House Hearing Dampens Hope of ICD-10 Delay (Medscape, Robert Lowes)

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Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Millan is a senior at the George Washington University studying Biological Anthropology.


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