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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Developing Drain on US Medical Facility Financial Resources


16 Nisan, 5774   

I spent a heartwarming, humorous and deeply spiritual Passover seder with friends. Today I'm hard at work, a very unplanned activity.

I'm sorry to be spending the intermediate days of Passover week in my home office rather than outdoors with holiday-oriented fun. 

I have to study up on the ICD9 medical coding system that President Obama permits the US medical world to use, instead of the more efficient and financially friendly ICD10 system.

A few months ago, Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services) publicly announced that "There will be no more delays to the October 1 deadline to implement the International Classification of Diseases-10th revision (ICD-10) coding system." 

Well she was in for a nasty surprise.

I've blogged about the unexpected ICD10 delay several times. The impact of the phenomenon is going to be felt by insured and uninsured Americans over time. The shock will eventually register with the public, as it already has with medical and medical coding, professionals.

That's why I'm working hard today and the rest of the holiday week: I'm plowing my way through 300 or so pages of unexpected schoolwork, studying the pre-Internet ICD9 method of medical coding that Obama permits.

Continuing ICD9 use will likely damage Americans immeasurably by crippling the medical insurance industry's efforts to reimburse medical professionals, medical facilities and patients.

It will seriously hamper medical research efforts by limiting communication efforts among US medical research members and their counterparts in the rest of the industrialized world (they've used ICD10 since 1996. America is not keeping up with the class. US medical coders just lost the best means of justifying bigger, more frequent medical insurance reimbursements from coast to coast, due to obama's legislative efforts!).

US Hospitals will probably go out of business due to the influx of patients who lack medical insurance or enough of it. Emergency room patients will be receiving free, non-reimburseable medical care in far too many cases, due to the obamacare debacle, the ICD10 delay and their ramifications. 

A financially unfit number of ER patients are already using hospitals for routine doctor care they never pay for. Nobody does.

The problem is likely to worsen, and to harm people in ever-widening circles.

I've long referred to the developing situation as ObaNOcare. It is costing people their insurance policies and health. 

Journalists are citing the poor math and other awry calculations that obamacare engenders. Even House Speaker Boehner decries the foulup.

The developing drain on US medical facility financial resources, let alone medical professionals, will be crippling.

I am saddened at having to remain home bound when I so want to have fun, interacting with new and old friends. I'm trying to see the upside of isolation. 

Meanwhile, medical coders like me can do our best to help the public and medical world by making our best medical coding efforts to bring in necessary monies. So, I'm studying hard.

But while you and I wonder how to solve the problem, the US president is focused on being offended by criticism of obamacare. Not quite the quality of character you'd need or want in a government leader.

As Robin Sharma teaches, "If you're not developing the best in others, you're not leading." Reflect on that teaching. Consider the nightmare scenarios that developed in the last two presidential terms.

You can read more about Ms. Tavenner at Tired of Talking about

When I have better news to share, I'll celebrate it with you as soon as possible.

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Figure out how to convince your legislators to repair the problems cited above. Why? Because The Doctor Won't See You Now.

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