Brian Joondeph: The October Surprise that Could Cripple the Practice of Medicine

American Thinker, March 28, 2014

You won’t read about the International Classification of Disease (ICD) on TMZ or hear it discussed on The View, but it has the potential to be an unpleasant October surprise in the health care world.  It is a list of codes that physicians and hospitals use when billing insurance companies.  These codes cover all manner of medical diagnoses for diseases, conditions, and injuries.

The first version of the ICD appeared in 1946, with periodic revisions since.  Six months from now, on October 1, the latest version, the ICD-10, will be implemented in the U.S.  We are late to the party, with other countries havingimplemented this over the past 15 years.  The ICD-10 has already been delayed for a year, but the administration promises no further delays.

The ICD-10 is not the fault of ObamaCare, nor is it Bush’s fault.  The classification preceded even Bill Clinton.  So this is not a partisan issue.  Instead, it is an issue of complexity, arriving in the wake of the largest health care overhaul in history, with its attendant chaos and confusion.

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