ICD-10, Meaningful Use among AMA's top issues of 2015

Implementation of ICD-10 ranks among the top 10 issues for physicians to watch in 2015, according to a list published by the American Medical Association.

The list notes that myriad regulatory requirements, which take time away from patient care, are among physicians' greatest frustrations. Relief from the multiple government mandates was among the three "Congressional Asks"--formal requests that HIMSS made to Congress in September to advance health IT.

The list also includes pushing for solutions to the one-size-fits all Meaningful Use program, continuing efforts to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, tackling prescription drug abuse, transforming medical education, and increasing professional satisfaction and sustainability of practices.

AMA President Robert Wah, in an address to the organization's House of Delegates in November that referenced "Star Wars," made jokes about the new code set, saying that the association wants to "freeze it in carbonite." The speech drew the ire of the ICD-10 Coalition.

Though another ICD-10 delay never materialized in a $157 billion fiscal 2015 spending bill passed in December, the National Physicians' Council for Healthcare Policy and the Texas Medical Association continue to push for a two-year delay.

AMA doesn't see any more delays as likely, and is urging practitioners to ensure they are prepared for implementation of the new code set, offering help through planning tools, guides and training.

AMA has pushed for end-to-end ICD-10 testing, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced would take place from Jan. 26-30, April 26-May 1, and July 20-24.

Last month, CMS revealed that acceptance rates during the November ICD-10 acknowledgement testing week improved to 87 percent. More acknowledgement testing will take place from March 2-6 and June 1-5. Acknowledgement testing is open to all electronic submitters and they receive electronic confirmation that the claims were accepted. End-to-end testing is limited to a smaller sample of submitters who volunteer and are selected to take part.

To learn more:
- here's AMA's full list