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AMA debates skipping ICD-10 implementation, moving to ICD-11

May 15, 2013
Compliance By LW Consulting Inc.

The medical sector is constantly undergoing changes, and in the digital era, many new implementations involve computers. However, not all industry experts agree on what needs to be done to make certain integrations as smooth as possible.

The American Medical Association's (AMA) board of trustees published a report outlining their concerns with ICD-10 coding. However, they also explained that the benefits currently outweigh the concerns, and moving directly into ICD-11 will not pay off in the long-run just yet.

The trustees said that ICD-11 is in itself "fraught with pitfalls." Specifically, many doctors and nurses need to understand ICD-10 coding in order to accurately use the ICD-11 system. By skipping the current implementation process, physicians will be unprepared and the facilities in which they work for could also fall behind.

The current timeframe for ICD-11 implementation is also 20 years, unless there is a strong push from other industry leaders to speed along the process.    

The AMA said in its report that it still has serious concerns and reservations about some of the burdens with ICD-10 and will continue to convey those points to policymakers in Washington.

"However, given the even greater complexities and uncertainties with moving directly from ICD-9 to ICD-11, the Board of Trustees believes skipping ICD-10 and moving directly to ICD-11 is fraught with its own pitfalls and therefore, based on current information available, is not recommended," the report said.

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, it is essential for all medical facilities to keep pace with the changes while still highlighting quality patient care. Working with a hospital consultant can make transitions as smooth as possible, and healthcare IT consulting services can educate staff members to ensure they understand how to use any new systems.