Nov 10 2011
Here is an example of the new ICD10 coding system required by HHS. The ICD-10 codes contain more than 155,000 codes and can describe far more diagnoses and procedures than the ICD-9 series, which contain about 17,000 codes. Coding things at this level – whether a patient was struck by a turtle or bitten by a turtle – is supposed to improve our understanding of health. This is not a joke: see http://www.icd10data.com/
One 2003 study they cited, by consulting firm Robert E. Nolan Co. for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, estimated the implementation cost for the conversion to ICD-10 will run from $5.5 billion to $13.5 billion with additional productivity losses of $752 million to nearly $1.4 billion for hospitals and physician practices. The Nolan study did not count the impact on nursing homes, clinical laboratories, durable medical-equipment suppliers, claims clearinghouses, small and midsize payers and third-party administrators.