In August this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that ICD-10 coding will commence on October 1, 2015, and there will be no delay as has been in the past. The announcement also states that the use of ICD-9 will continue until September 30, 2015.
Many providers, experts and healthcare groups across the country are still of the view that physicians will not be ready by this extended October 1 deadline, partly because of the existing burden of achieving other technological requirements including Meaningful Use and PQRS.
The CMS also announced three testing weeks for the tenth revision of the ICD code set. The first testing week was in November this year, however; the second and third take place on March 2-6, and June 1-5, 2015, respectively.
The CMS believes that these testing weeks will help determine if providers are able to meet “technical compliance and performance processing standards” through the implementation process. In simple terms, the testing will help check if the claims are correctly being sent out (in the new format). This step will be integral, in not only raising awareness about the new codes, but to also work on methods to fulfill their shortcomings for providers incurring issues with these new codes.
There will also be end-to-end testing, which will determine the claim submission process via the remittance advice receipt. This round of testing will be more comprehensive, and will give a more in-depth analysis for providers on the claim processing via ICD-10; and the subsequent Medicare payment process with these new codes. The months for end to end testing in 2015 are January, April, and July.
You must contact your Medicare Administrative Contractors for more information on the testing process. Your EHR vendors, medical billing company, clearinghouses and payers (insurance) must all be ready for the coding changes before your practice is, so that you can seamlessly begin the testing process as soon as your practice is ready. Get in touch with them so that you can determine if they’ll be ready for ICD-10 before time, because if they aren’t; it’s time to switch to someone who will be.
Download your own ICD-10 e-book to start your ICD-10 training or try free ICD-10 certified EHR Demo.