For the second time this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has completed a round of testing with providers, clearinghouses and billing agencies. This testing during the last week in April demonstrated even greater success than the first round of testing in January. There will be one final round of testing in July. According to CMS, ICD-10 news updates,
From April 27 through May 1, 2015, Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) health care providers, clearinghouses, and billing agencies participated in a second successful ICD-10 end-to-end testing week with all Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) MAC Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractor. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was able to accommodate most volunteers, representing a broad cross-section of provider, claim, and submitter types.
This second end-to-end testing week demonstrated that CMS systems are ready to accept ICD-10 claims.
One of our biggest concerns as practice management software vendors has been that payers would not be ready for the move to ICD-10. We were very pleased to learn of this successful testing on the part of CMS. While this in no way guarantees that other payers will be ready to receive ICD-10 claims, it is clear that those who send claims and who are intermediaries for claims (clearinghouses) have taken this change seriously and will be as ready as it is possible for systems to be. CMS continues to provide ongoing news, information and training materials. If you have not already registered to receive CMS ICD-10 updates, you should certainly do so!
In addition, it would not hurt to check with your other large payers to question their level of readiness to receive ICD-10 claims starting on October 1, 2015. If they do not have information for providers available on their website, give their provider support line a call.
Finally, do not assume that things will go smoothly. Be sure you have acquired a line of credit to run your business for several months in case your payers have difficulty with implementation.
CMS recommends the following:
Prepare now for ICD-10 implementation
Medicare claims with a date of service on or after October 1, 2015, will be rejected if they do not contain a valid ICD-10 code. The Medicare claims processing systems do not have the capability to accept ICD-9 codes for dates of service after September 30, 2015; or accept claims that contain both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes.
There is still time to get ready!
Even though the October 1, 2015, mandatory implementation date is quickly approaching, providers still have time to prepare for ICD-10, and CMS has created a number of tools and resources to help you succeed. One tool is the “Road to 10,” aimed specifically at smaller physician practices with primers for clinical documentation, clinical scenarios, and other specialty-specific resources to help you with implementation.
Are you ready?