Beginning in October of this year, the government is changing the diagnosis codes that we presently use. It’s hard to believe that we currently have 17,000 codes at our disposal, but the new coding system, which every medical practice will have to use, consists of 68,000 codes! If we have to spend all of our time learning this, how can we possibly keep up with what is really important—like continuing medical education!
This is important, because in an era of higher health care costs and LOWER payments to physicians, the average small medical practice is expected to spend between $56,639-$226,105 to implement this. Unfortunately most practices don’t have this kind of money and it is projected that as many as 40% of ALL medical practices will be forced to close by the first quarter of 2015. This is on top of a projected shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians by the year 2020.
The funny thing is: this new coding system will not improve your healthcare.