Health Information Management

Testing week will provide barometer for ICD-10 readiness

APCs Insider, November 15, 2013

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Coder training, physician documentation, and new technology integration rank among the top concerns for providers facing ICD-10 implementation. Overcoming those obstacles will all be for naught if you can’t seamlessly submit claims to your MAC.

CMS recently announced a testing week in March where providers will have the opportunity to test their claims with their MACs in order to gauge what changes may be necessary well ahead of implementation.

The testing week will run from March 3-7, 2014, and Medicare has instructed all MACs and durable medical equipment Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractors to have their systems ready to be tested during that timeframe.

Each MAC is required to announce and actively promote the testing week, as well as offering providers information on registration for the week at least one month prior to March 3. An EDI help desk will be available from at least 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day of the testing in order to provide technical support.

After testing, contractors are required to report results to CMS, including how many providers participated, the amount of accepted and rejected claims, and any significant problems found during testing.

It’s possible this testing could lead to further testing from CMS, which has publicly stated it doesn’t intend to conduct end-to-end testing prior to ICD-10 implementation.

After the numerous technical problems experienced with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), CMS may now be open to considering ICD-10 testing, according to Robert Tennant, senior policy adviser at the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), in a recent MedPage Today story. CMS wouldn’t comment further to MedPage Today on testing plans, but the results of front-end testing could impact its decision.

CMS will be offering an ICD-10 webinar for facilities looking for the latest information on where they should be in their implementation timeline at noon (Eastern), Tuesday, November 19. Space is limited and registration is required. 

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