Would Darth Vader really embrace ICD-10 implementation?

November 12, 2014 in Medical Technology

The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates met in Dallas during the weekend without advancing any stands against ICD-10 implementation. Usually they’re good for a statement of vigorous opposition.

Not that the AMA ignored it. AMA President Robert Wah addressed the delegates and had three paragraphs:

Here’s an interesting fact:  Each of the six Star Wars films has this line: “I have a bad feeling about this.” That’s a common reaction to ICD-10.  If it was a droid ICD-10 would serve Darth Vader.

We’d see 13,000 diagnosis codes balloon into 68,000 – a five-fold increase. Sucked into a jet engine?  Burned by flaming water skis? Yes, there are codes for that. We all know ICD-10 is expensive to implement. We don’t know if it will improve care.

For more than a decade, the AMA kept ICD-10 at bay – and we want to freeze it in carbonite!

Three things struck me:

First, we should give Wah credit for the Star Wars references. Speak like Yoda, more impressive it would be.

Second, threatening to freeze ICD-10 implementation in carbonite is the wrong way to go. It’s not exactly a statement of vigorous opposition. And Hans Solo was unjustly frozen in carbonite by Jabba the Hut. Who would be the AMA in this scenario?

Third, if Wah really doesn’t know if ICD-10 implementation will improve care, he ought to read the AMA’s PR. It led me to believe that “potential complications from a bite could be easier to monitor under the new code set.”

That doesn’t exactly sound like the dark side.

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Article source: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/blog/would-darth-vader-really-embrace-icd-10-implementation

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