Are you making preparations for the switch to ICD-10?


"Do I think [ICD-10] will make patient care better? If it did, I would be really shocked. The question is, will it make patient care worse? I hope not.”

“I have not but my staff has.

We have 15 to 20 people who do billing, and we’ve been sending people to training. They’ll get ready first, then we’ll have them present to us what we need to do.

I know the number of codes is going to multiply exponentially. It’s going to be much more difficult. Some physicians in the group are more in tune to their personal charges, and some leave that to our staff. But with the ICD-10, it’s certainly going to be much more challenging.

The bottom line is the government is doing everything it can to control their costs. Will this control them? Time will tell. It’s certainly going to be significantly more work for us, but we’re all in the same fire here.”

Howard Abromowitz, MD

Dayton, OH


“We’re always preparing for all things at all times. You really have to stay 6 to 8 months ahead of the next big change that might happen, even if it’s a moving target. Our office manager and billing department are doing the recon. We actually have one employee we’ve pulled from her regular job to take care of all the health care changes that are coming along, just to get us ready.

I know the doctors will have to enter the data, and that’s killing us. I’m ending up becoming a data management specialist. My choices are to leave medicine, become a bitter old doctor like doctors have done for the past 100 years, or just say, ‘This is the reality; what do I have to learn that has nothing to do with medicine in order to cope with the situation?’

Do I think this will make patient care better? If it did, I would be really shocked. The question is, will it make patient care worse? I hope not.”

Craig Turner, MD

Portland, OR


“That’s a good question. My EHR is changing too, so I’m going to have to fall into the path of using the new system. It won’t benefit me and I’m not sure it will benefit the patients, so I’m just asking myself why we are doing this.

The truth is, I’m at the age where if it is too much, I will hang it up. I would love to continue practicing and doing what I enjoy, but unfortunately things are being imposed on the medical community that I don’t think are for our benefit, or for our patients’ benefit.

If there is an emergency in a room, the first thing they move in is not the defibrillator, but the computer, so they can capture all the costs of the items being used. That’s unfortunate. It comes down to information gathering and monitoring how much money they can save. Sometimes I wonder who is wagging whose tail.”

Irving J. Fishman, MD


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