Obama administration announces delay of burdensome new rules on doctors

ADVERTISEMENT
Sebelius framed the delay as part of President Obama's commitment to reducing regulatory burden. She said HHS would announce a new date in the future.

The Obama administration says the new codes would get U.S. medical diagnostics in line with much of the rest of the world while allowing health officials to better track the nation's health and monitor diseases.

Critics — including the American Medical Association — say switching to ICD-10 coding will require doctors' offices to deal with some 68,000 codes, more than five times the current 13,000. The change, according to the AMA, would cost medical practices anywhere between $83,290 and more than $2.7 million, depending on size.

In a statement following Tavenner's earlier remarks, AMA President-elect Jeremy Lazarus was cautiously optimistic.

"The AMA appreciates that Ms. Tavenner and the administration have heard our concerns and have recognized the significant challenges and burdens ICD-10 implementation will create on the practice of medicine, and that they are committed to reviewing the pace of implementation," Lazarus said. "The AMA welcomes the opportunity to discuss ICD-10 implementation, along with many overlapping regulatory requirements that are burdening physician practices."