AHIMA: ICD-10 Costs Lower Than Previously Reported

Nov. 14, 2014
New data published online in the Journal of AHIMA suggests that the estimated costs, time and resources required by physician offices to convert to ICD-10 are “dramatically lower” than initially estimated.

New data published online in the Journal of AHIMA suggests that the estimated costs, time and resources required by physician offices to convert to ICD-10 are “dramatically lower” than initially estimated.

The evidence also suggests that physicians and their office staff, vendors and health plans have made considerable progress on ICD-10 implementation with fewer resources than previously estimated.

The article estimates that the ICD-10 conversion costs for a small practice are in the range of $1,900-$5,900. This is in stark contrast to a 2014 update of a widely referenced 2008 report by Nachimson Advisors to the American Medical Association (AMA), which estimated the cost for a small practice to implement ICD-10 was in the range of $22,560-$105,506.

The authors of the Journal of AHIMA article based their estimates on results from recent surveys, published reports and ICD-10 conversion experience with hospitals and physicians. The authors defined a small practice as three physicians and two impacted staff members such as coders and/or office personnel.

Additionally, the survey found that costs related to electronic health record (EHR) adoption and other healthcare initiatives such as meaningful use are not directly related to the ICD-10 conversion and were sometimes included in previous estimates.

“This research confirms that the ICD-10 conversion for small practices is not only highly achievable but far less onerous than many have suggested,” AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said in a statement. “AHIMA remains committed to helping small practices with their transition to ICD-10, a modern and robust coding system that will lead to improved patient care and better health outcomes at reduced costs.”

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