Physicians Brief Congress on Impact of New Codes

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On Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) brought physicians to Capitol Hill to brief Congress on the impact of government requirements such as the ICD-10 diagnostic codes on patient care.

The briefing was from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Room 2203, Rayburn building.

Physicians discussed both how bureaucratic red tape is strangling patient care and how physicians who practice outside of government and insurance company control are lowering costs for patients while providing high-quality medical care.

Watch Video of Briefing:

Despite the outpouring of opposition from physicians and their patients, AAPS notes, Congress has refused to relent on the mandate to use ICD-10 diagnostic coding as of Oct 1—or not get paid. Proponents claim that ICD-10 will increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve quality. We have heard this before, AAPS states, with respect to the Affordable Care Act, but Massachusetts, the poster child for ACA, recently announced that growth in healthcare costs doubled in 2014.

Al Fisher, M.D., a family physician in Wisconsin, writes that ICD-10 makes 30 years worth of experience in ICD-9 obsolete overnight. To comply with ICD-10, an office needs to buy new computers and new software and hire expensive consultants. One consultant offered his services to Dr. Fisher’s office for $3,000 per month. Fisher notes that nationwide costs for implementing ICD-10 are estimated to be as high as $13.5 billion. “No wonder small offices are closing and doctors are selling out to hospitals at an increasing rate,” he states.

Fisher concludes that ICD-10 is of zero benefit to patients, but researchers want patient data—which should be confidential. Additionally, he writes, “there is an entire industry that feeds on medical coding.”

Also presenting: AAPS past president Juliette Madrigal-Dersch, M.D., who practices internal medicine and pediatrics in Texas. Her third-party-free practice was featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2013. Increasing numbers of physicians are following her lead, AAPS notes, so that they can concentrate on their patients instead of increasing burdensome regulations that destroy the patient-physician relationship.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.

Related Articles:

ICD-10 Tsunami to Hit by Richard Amerling, MD

Direct Pay Physicians Will Skip the ICD-10 Madness on October 1 via AtlasMD

Dr. Kris Held asks patients to stand with her as she refuses to adopt ICD-10

Why ICD-10 Will Do More Bad Than Good by Steven M. Croft, MD

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