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The Washington Examiner has published a new op-ed by Jason D. Fodeman, M.D. calling on Congress to stop the implementation of the new billing codes (ICD-10). Codes the op-ed says will "do more harm than good." Why? Because the new set of codes, 140,000 in number (up from 18,000 under the current system, ICD-9), will force "health care providers to divert more and more scarce resources away from patient care to tend to bureaucratic whims."
Ultimately, Fodeman states that satisfying the mandates will force hospitals and doctors to "devote valuable time, money and energy to learning and implementing this new billing system. This time would be better spent treating sick patients. These regulations will also likely exacerbate already strict and extensive physician documentation requirements. This will further translate into less time at the bedside with patients. While compliance with these new regulations will be onerous and frustrating for physicians, ultimately it will be the patients that suffer the most from diminished care."
If any profession in America can speak to the negative impact of burdensome regulations on our economy - it is the medical profession. With ICD-10, it looks like that burden will become much, much heavier.