The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and the American Medical Association today announced joint efforts to help health care providers get ready for ICD-10.   However in a press release, both parties reiterated the October 1, 2015 deadline:

“In accordance with the coming transition, the Medicare claims processing systems will not have the capability to accept ICD-9 codes for dates of services after September 30, 2015, nor will they be able to accept claims for both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes.”

CMS and AMA announced efforts to continue to help physicians get ready ahead of the October 1 deadline.   The press release reiterated the benefits of The International Classification of Diseases, or ICD, which is used to standardize codes for medical conditions and procedures. The medical codes America uses for diagnosis and billing have not been updated in more than 35 years and contain outdated, obsolete terms.The use of ICD-10 should advance public health research and emergency response through detection of disease outbreaks and adverse drug events, as well as support innovative payment models that drive quality of care.”

CMS also detailed its operating plans for the ICD-10 implementation. Upcoming milestones include:

  • Setting up an ICD-10 communications and coordination center, learning from best practices of other large technology implementations that will be in place to identify and resolve issues arising from the ICD-10 transition.
  • Sending a letter in July to all Medicare fee-for-service providers encouraging ICD-10 readiness and notifying them of these flexibilities.
  • Completing the final window of Medicare end-to-end testing for providers this July.
  • Offering ongoing Medicare acknowledgement testing for providers through September 30th.
  • Providing additional in-person training through the “Road to 10” for small physician practices.
  • Hosting an MLN Connects National Provider Call on August 27th.

Also, at the request of the AMA, CMS will name a CMS ICD-10 Ombudsman to triage and answer questions about the submission of claims. The ICD-10 Ombudsman will be located at CMS’s ICD-10 Coordination Center.

 

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