This has been in the works for many years, with many delays. The U.S. is the last industrialized nation to adopt this code set. So why all the hubbub?
First, the U.S. is the only one of these nations to base reimbursement on these codes (other nations are one payer systems and use the codes for disease reporting only). And over the course of the past years in modifying the core set of codes, the committees responsible for finalizing the code sets caused them to mushroom out of control. In many cases, there is a 1:20 ratio of ICD9 To ICD10 in the number of codes possible for a disease.
This is also an unfunded mandate. There are great costs to converting. Prime among them, IT system changes and staff retraining, in addition to many other change related costs.
But the AMA has known this for some time. Why wait until now when most large organizations are well into implementing their conversion plans? Why, when CMS has emphatically stated that there is no delaying or turning back, and that they have given providers ample time to prepare for the transition?
I’m not happy with this either, but my opposition was voiced long ago, yet unsuccessfully. The train is well down the track at this point and the AMA’s protestations seem too little, too late.
(above is partial list of codes for an insect bite.)