What You Said…about ICD-10

During the launch of ICD-10 on Oct. 1, we wanted to know how the day was going for our physicians and their staff, so we asked them. Below are a few responses we received about the implementation of the new billing system. Keep in mind the true test of the implementation of ICD-10 won’t be fully realized for some time:

“I think the whole thing is unworkable, a waste of time and will make my office much less efficient. I am not sure why doctors continue to tolerate these ridiculous mandates.”
— Sen. Larry Stutts, M.D., OB/GYN from Sheffield

“Much anticipated arrival of ICD-10 today that passed smoothly for patients and practitioners alike; the final grade is now left with our billing service.”
— Maartin Wybenga, M.D., family physician from Prattville

“We have been working to prepare for years with lots of study, classes and tests. It is disappointing on Day One that 100% of our claims have been rejected. It appears our clearing house is not ready. I’m glad I have put money in a savings account to be prepared. It should be made clear to EVERYONE that we are the only country in the world that uses ICD-10 for payment. It was designed to allow statisticians to monitor disease. This is ALL about Big Brother keeping track of what we do. I am struck by the idiocy of the bureaucrat many years ago that was once reported to say that the expense to doctors would be nothing more than ‘printing’ fees for a few new superbills.”
— Allen Meadows, M.D., allergist from Montgomery

“We had no problems today. We were slower in documentation trying to find the new codes. However, the jury is not in just yet, since we haven’t yet had time for any claims to be rejected. We are cautiously optimistic.”
— Beverly Jordan, M.D., FAAFP, family physician from Enterprise

“Since our EMR did not properly work pulling up the new codes as promised, we had a difficult day searching for codes online, ultimately slowing us down.”
— McCain Ashurst, M.D., OB/GYN from Montgomery

“There’s been a lot of comments about how specific ‪‎ICD-10‬ is, but I have been surprised by how many codes are even less specific than ICD-9.”
— Steven P. Furr, M.D., former president of the Medical Association and family physician from Jackson

“No problems here at all … I took the day off!”
— Tim Stewart, M.D., pediatrician from Huntsville

“Although today was a day I have been dreading for quite some time now, it has gone smoother than I ever expected it to. I believe the transition has gone as well as it has gone because of adequate preparation. My staff, my software vendor and IT support team prepared exceptionally well for the storm. My quick navigation tools were already in place, and my office had several ‘ICD-10 dummy days’ where we practiced entering patients/visits with the new ICD-10 codes. My software vendor also gave us the ability to convert to the new ICD-10 codes effortlessly from our old ICD-9 database. My staff and I also attended seminars by the Medical Association and Baptist Hospital, which helped immensely. As with any storm, your best chance of surviving is to be adequately prepared. We have had this forecast on the radar for quite some time now. For so long it appeared we were blowing a lot of hot air in an attempt to get the hurricane to go away or to change its course as opposed to just hunkering down, preparing, and allowing it to do would it was ultimately going to do. All storms, no matter how bad they are, will eventually blow over. What remains to be seen at this point is how well the change will affect my reimbursements and how much of a delay and additional expenses I will incur.”
— Jefferson Underwood III, M.D., internist from Montgomery

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