New survey finds ICD-10 costs lower than previous estimates

A survey by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) has found that the costs associated with implementing ICD-10 in small physician offices is relatively low compared to some previous estimates. The survey results were published in the Journal of AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association).

The survey of 276 practices found that the average ICD-10-related expenditures for practices with six or fewer providers is $8,167, with average expenditures per provider of $3,340.

This compares with a study commissioned by the American Medical Association and released last year that found that the costs of implementing ICD-10 for small practices ranges from $56,639 to $226,105.

The PAHCOM survey asked practices to specify expenditures for ICD-10-related activities, including costs already incurred and costs remaining.

The estimates reported in this study are higher than—though not out of line with—a couple of other recent studies. For example, the American Academy of Professional Coders recently conducted a survey of ICD-10 implementation costs in small practices in which it found that costs average $750 per provider in a small physician practice.

As for comparisons with the study commissioned by the American Medical Association, the authors of the PAHCOM study suggested that their lower cost estimates could be due to the fact that practices now have access to more educational and training materials, that vendors are providing more services at no additional cost and that the increasing adoption of electronic medical records could be facilitating the transition to ICD-10.