However, the ICD-10 code set offers several more modern tools to effectively describe the changes in modern and podiatry medicine. More so, ICD-10 is designed to effectively expand and upgrade with the seemingly constant changes of today’s medical field. Regardless of the benefits to the medical field, especially podiatry, physicians have been reluctant to implement the changes required for ICD-10.
Why Are Physicians Lagging?
Physicians are lagging to implement the changes needed to convert to ICD-10 for several reasons. Just a few months ago, the implementation of ICD-10 was trying to be avoided in its entirety by the AMA. The lack of motivation by physicians to implement the changes may have derived from them waiting to see if the deadline of October 2013 would be extended.
With little information and the AMA’s resistance, physicians seemed justified to resist the changes and dig in their heels. However, the failure to effectively communicate the staggering benefits to podiatry and the medical field in its entirety is the real culprit for this overwhelming reluctance.
A MGMA press release highlights the fact that a only a handful of practices stated that their facility was ready to implement the new system or had even made significant progress toward implementing the new system. Out of the 1,200 practices that staffed approximately 55,000 physicians around the nation only 4.8% were ready or have made progress. The survey also revealed that 89% of the participants stated that it would be difficult to actually document the patient encounter in the ICD-10. An even more staggering 96% of participants had reservations about choosing the proper diagnosis code.
- The cost of converting to ICD-10 represented the concern of 81.1% of participants.
- 89% of the respondents were concerned about the changes to clinical documentation.
- 87.5% of the respondents expressed concern over the loss of productivity after the ICD-10 podiatry medicine has been implemented.
According to Susan Turney, M.D., MGMA President and CEO, “It is proving to be one of the most complex and expensive changes our healthcare system has faced in decades,” She further noted that also ICD-10 will increase diagnosis coding by five fold, it will simultaneously take place with other deadlines set by the federal government.
Another potential explanation of why physicians are lagging is because of the lack of coordination among stakeholders. The MGMA survey showed that over 52% of the participants have failed to receive communication from their practice management system vendors regarding when the software that would implement the changes would be available. In addition, only half of the respondents had communication about the ICD-10 readiness with heir EHR vendors.
Simply put, resistance to change is natural. This natural resistance can most successfully be overcome through education and insight into the inherent benefits offered by ICD-10. Until now, the dissemination of information has taken a staggeringly slow pace fueled by speculation and hope that ICD-10 would be forgone completely. However, that is not the case. ICD-10 implementation is moving forward and physicians who fail to make the required transitions by the deadline can face staunch penalties.