Doctors face "crushing" costs from a looming rule change that will shake up the way diagnosis codes used for insurance claims are filed, the American Medical Association warned Wednesday.
In some cases, the AMA expects doctors will have to pay three times the original estimate for implementing these new and more numerous codes.
Switching to the so-called ICD-10 codes this fall will cost large physician practices anywhere from $2 million to $8 million, according to the study conducted by Nachimson Advisors for the AMA.
Small practices will have to fork out anywhere between $56,600 and $226,100 for the transition, and medium-sized practices between $213,360 and $824,700, the study found.
Nachimson projected that two-thirds of the physician practices would incur costs in the upper half of those ranges.
"The markedly higher implementation costs for ICD-10 places a crushing burden on physicians, straining vital resources needed to invest in new health-care delivery models and well-developed technology that promotes care coordination with real value to patients," said Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, the AMA's president.