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    PODCAST: Regulatory initiatives, deadlines inescapable


    Although the timeline for implementation of the ICD-10 coding system has been pushed back to October 2015, all dermatologists will have to deal with this eventually. Meaningful Use regulations are also here to stay and will impact every practitioner sooner or later. Mark Kaufmann, M.D., associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, explains the many vagaries of these initiatives for those of us who insist on pretending that they will never happen. Dr. Kaufmann is a dermatologist in private practice in New York and also serves as the chairman of the EHR Implementation Taskforce for the American Academy of Dermatology, as well as co-chair of the ICD-10 workgroup.

    Dr. Levine: What’s the timeline for the implementation of ICD-10 and how does one go about implementing it in their office?

    Mark Kaufmann photoDr. KaufmannDr. Kaufmann: With the passage of the last SGR patch, the implementation of ICD-10 has now been delayed until Oct. 1, 2015. On Sept. 30, 2015, we will have to use ICD-9 codes to submit claims to Medicare, and on Oct. 1 you will have to use ICD-10 codes or you will be denied payment. It’s a pretty sharp demarcation line that we have to follow. Implementation is probably much more than any of us are prepared for. Based on a nonscientific, anecdotal poll that I have been taking, most dermatologists’ plan for implementing ICD-10 is to put their heads in the sand and hope that it just goes away. It’s not going to; it’s going to happen.

    Dr. Levine: Are these codes going to be mandatory for private insurance companies as well?

    Dr. Kaufmann: It’s unclear. It’s up to the private insurers when they want to implement ICD-10. Some of them may not be ready on Oct. 1, 2015. So we may be stuck in a situation where we are coding differently for Medicare patients than we are for our private patients. We are still waiting for better clarification from the commercial insurers. But I think when they see that ICD-10 actually is having some effect on delayed payment; a lot of commercial insurers will probably want to join that effort.

    Next: What's the cost of implementation?


    Listen to or read more Takeaways in our series


    Norman Levine, M.D.
    Norman Levine, M.D., is a private practitioner in Tucson, Ariz. He also is a member of the Dermatology Times Editorial Advisory board ...


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