The Texas Medical Association (TMA), the largest state medical society for physicians in the United States, along with other groups, now asking its 48,000 members to write Congress requesting a two-year delay in the implementation of ICD-10.
In a message posted online, Austin I. King, MD, TMA president, asked the membership to ask for a delay until October 2017 “so you and your colleagues can spend more time on patient are.”
“It’s imperative that you contact your representative today and explain how you cannot afford the cost and disruption of ICD-10 implementation, especially now, when you are buried in myriad other bureaucratic burdens,” King wrote.
His message was accompanied by a sample letter members can use to contact their representatives.
TMA is not the only state medical association that is lobbying congress. The Medical Society of the State of New York has sent a letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio) asking that Congress attach language delaying implementation of ICD-10 “to a must-pass piece of legislation during the upcoming Lame Duck Session in 2014.”
This lobbying for an ICD-10 implementation delay has been countered by a coalition of 15 professional organizations that sent a letter Nov. 12 to the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives asking that there be no further changes in the implementation date.
“ICD-10 implementation delays have been disruptive and costly for all of the coalition members, as well as to healthcare delivery innovation, payment reform, public health, and healthcare spending,” the letter reads.
The implementation of the ICD-10 codeset had been scheduled for October 1 of this year, but was delayed last spring when Congress inserted legislation into the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act” directing the Department of Health and Human Services not to adopt the ICD-10 codeset as the standard until Oct. 1, 2015.
According to an article in Politico, there are two potential avenues to get language related to ICD-10 inserted into a piece of legislation. It could either be attached to a continuing resolution on the $157 billion labor, education and HHS funding bill, which expires Dec. 11, or added to legislation to repeal the sustainable growth rate, which is something that groups like the American Medical Association are pushing for during the lame duck session.