CMS memo explains four-part testing approach for ICD-10 implementation

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A new transmittal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provides details about its four-part approach to implementing ICD-10 codes for Medicare fee-for-service claims. Medicare providers will be required to use these codes for dates of service on and after Oct. 1, 2014.

ICD-10 refers to the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases codes. It will significantly expand the current set of codes.

In addition to internal testing of its claims processing systems, CMS is undertaking three implementation initiatives that involve providers, according to the memorandum released Wednesday.

From March 3 through 7, CMS will offer acknowledgement testing. During these days, providers can send test ICD-10 claims to ensure CMS can accept them. Additional weeks of acknowledgement testing might be scheduled, the memo states.

CMS also is offering beta testing tools for providers, and the memo provides links to many of them. If testing shows that a provider will not be able to submit ICD-10 claims via its own system by the deadline, CMS suggests utilizing free billing software offered through Medicare administrative contractors.

Finally, CMS plans to offer end-to-end testing this summer. This will involve submission of test claims and generation of Remittance Advice, to ensure that proper claims adjudication is occurring. A “small sample group of providers” will be involved, representing a cross-section of provider types, according to Wednesday's memo. CMS says it will release more information about this stage at a later date.

Click here to access the complete document.

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