The AMA resolution itself predicts "a staggering increased work burden on physicians and their staff, with no direct benefit to patient care."
But Sue Bowman, director of coding policy and compliance for AHIMA, the American Health Information Management Association, said the delegates' vote was "surprising and disappointing" to her and her colleagues. And she disagrees with Carmel's statement that ICD-10 won't benefit patient care.
That's because, she says, physicians and the entire healthcare industry can learn a lot from the much more precise data ICD-10 can reveal.
"One of the advantages of ICD-10 is better information on patient outcomes," Bowman says. "And that can be advantageous to physicians - not necessarily detrimental. For example, it might show that a procedure is more complicated and might have higher risks or be associated with more complications. Today, a lot of these simpler as well as more complex procedures are lumped into the same code. It can help to support the physicians who are doing more complex procedures."
ICD-10's specificity, "can be used to support the medical necessity of a physician's service," which might be denied by a health plan under ICD-9 codes that are overly broad, and not explain why the service really was appropriate.
AHIMA, which has 63,000 members, include payers, hospital providers, vendors, government and health data agencies.