Introduction: On October 1, 2015, the United States made a major transition in its medical billing and coding system, by switching from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. Several cost-analysis studies have attempted to estimate the eventual impact of the ICD-10-CM transition on medical practices, but all were completed prior to the actual transition deadline. Our study seeks to assess the post-implementation financial impact of the transition on small and medium medical practices which used a set of non-profit resources for their implementation. Methods: 6,000 medical practices were randomly selected from the approximately 70,000 user database of a non-profit ICD-10 provider and emailed a seven question survey. 419 practices completed the full survey (8.5% response rate), providing practice demographics, as well as estimates for the hours spent and cost accrued on the implementation. Results: Based on the reported data, the average total explicit cost of the ICD- 10-CM implementation was $1,206 for small medical practices and $2,462 for medium medical practices. The average total number of staff hours spent was 61.2 hours for small practices and 139 hours for medium-sized practices. The average total number of physician hours spent was 35.6 hours and 75.1 hours, respectively. Discussion: The total average cost of the ICD-10-CM implementation was calculated to be between $6,748 to $9,564 for a small medical practice and between $14,577 to $23,062 for a medium-sized medical practice. The results of this study suggest that for practices which used a set of free online resources, the eventual financial impact of the ICD-10-CM transition was less than predicted by the landmark Nachimson report for the American Medical Association (AMA), but greater than the study by Kravis et al (3M).
Parth Desai and Rachelle Eljazzar
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