“Hard To See Value” In ICD-10 For Physicians, Analytics

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | October 10, 2013

ICD-10 has never been the most popular kid at the lunch table.  Viewed as just another regulatory burden with no clear purpose and a huge price tag, physicians have been railing against the switch since the day it was announced.  Experts have tried to clean up its image by praising the added specificity and granularity of the data that will result from the more than 140,000 codes, but it’s a hard sell to providers already drowning in EHR adoption, meaningful use, the ACA, and quality improvement reforms.  Is ICD-10 worth it?

“From a physician’s perspective, it doesn’t seem to make much sense,” said Juergen Fritsch, Chief Scientist at M*Modal, to HealthITAnalytics.  “They’d have to buy in to the bigger premise about getting richer data and more fine grained data for billing purposes.  But from a clinical perspective, I wouldn’t say it makes that much sense.  For a physician, I can see why they struggle with that.”

For health information management professionals, ICD-10 is simply a necessity, says Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACH, CEO of AHIMA.  “Let’s say you move to a new neighborhood, and you want to get a new telephone number.  But they said, ‘We’re sorry, there’s no more room.  You can just be grouped with your neighborhood, and we’ll call that one number if we want to get ahold of you.’  That’s kind of what’s happening with our system now, because we’ve run out of space,” she explains.