Senator Rand Paul has been getting some ink about a recent speech during which he mocked the Affordable Care Act for mandating the use of ICD-10 codes, some of which are pretty silly.
Theses codes are what hospitals and doctors must use when submitting bills to third-party payers.
Please understand that no one has gotten more mileage from making fun of the new ICD-10 codes than I have.
You may recall my posts on the codes for drowning due to falling from burning water skis, contact with (amorous) dolphins and getting sucked into a jet engine.
And I have to agree that the expansion in the number of codes from 18,000 in ICD-9 to over 150,000 in ICD-10 may be burdensome to most doctors.
Senator Paul is a physician, and he should know better. He is either clueless or disingenuous for blaming the ICD-10 code muddle on Obama.
As reported way back in January of 2009 by the Wall Street Journal no less, the ICD-10 codes were to be implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but CMS decided to delay doing so after protests by all sorts of medical people and organizations who said that they did not have enough time to comply.
In addition, these codes were not even developed by CMS. ICD stands for the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems and the revised codes were formulated after many years of discussion by the World Health Organization (WHO).
So whether you love the new codes or hate them, they were going to be put into place regardless of the status of the ACA.
And regarding making fun of them, Mr. Paul is late to the party. My posts about the absurdity of some of the codes were on line in the fall of 2011.