Obamacare – Senators Attempt to Block ICD-10

I think I first saw this on Yahoo or Google news the last couple weeks and the headline was much flashier.  In our world of streaming media, it is difficult to focus on any bit of news before something else takes your attention.  This was merely a blip on the radar with all the latest IRS scandals streaming out of our nation’s capital.  The comments about ‘injury sustained by turtle’ or ‘walking into a lamppost’ were actually made over a month ago and only recently received some notice online.  While we all have mixed feelings about the new U.S. healthcare law, or Obamacare’, the concern over using ICD-10 has been around for much longer than this administration. 


Every time you visit your family doctor, dermatologist, or expert foot doctor , your podiatrist, the diagnosis and treatment are converted into a numerical code to ‘simplify’ the information that is billed to your insurer on your behalf. Often these codes are not simple.  The ‘decoder’ used today, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) was the 9th version implemented in 1975.  The ‘newest’ version (ICD-10) was completed in 1992 and is scheduled to begin to be used in October 2014.  Our team in not excited about scrapping the system used for so long for a brand new one, but it is obvious that we have made some advances in medicine since 1975.  While a little quirky, you can see some of the diagnosis in a recent Atlantic article, there are obviously some improvements over the last thirty plus years.


While the parallel legislation in the house and senate meant to stop implementation of the change in codes, there is little chance of it being successful.  The changes to healthcare in this country are coming whether we like it or not.  Regardless of all this, you should know that the excellent care you receive at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists will still be here. Our team strives to provide you the latest advances and treatments when it comes to your foot health. Even as healthcare changes continue, the expert foot and ankle care we provide will continue to keep you walking and running pain free!


Until next time, keep those feet and ankles happy and health Austin!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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