Another bill aims to halt ICD-10 implementation

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The deadline for ICD-10 implementation is rapidly approaching, but a new House bill threatens to stop the new code system from ever coming to fruition.

H.R. 2126, the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015, was introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tx) and co-sponsored by six other republican representatives.

“The new ICD-10 codes will not make one patient healthier,” Poe said in a statement. “What it will do is put an unnecessary strain on the medical community who should be focused on treating patients, not implementing a whole new bureaucratic language. Instead of hiring one more doctor or nurse to help patients, medical practices are having to spend tens of thousands just to hire a specialist who understands the new codes.”

In his statement, Poe references studies predicting that implementation could cost practices anywhere from $56,000 to $8 million. He also points out that the ICD-10 system would involve 68,000 codes, up from 13,000 in ICD-9.

This isn’t the first time Poe has tried to halt ICD-10 implementation. In 2013, he introduced H.R. 1701, the Cutting Costly Codes Act, into the House of Representatives, but it never picked up enough momentum to move forward.

He sounded just as determined and upset then as he does in 2015. In fact, his official statement from the time is almost identical to his current statement about H.R. 2126, hitting the same points about the codes not making anyone healthier and doctors not being hired.

At the time, Poe also mocked the level of detail that has been put into the ICD-10 codes, as quoted by The Hill in April 2013.

"There is a code for being assaulted by a turkey for the first time, there is a code for being assaulted by the turkey a second time," Poe said. "There are nine codes. The doctor must get the right code or he's in violation of the law.”