Four states to transition to ICD-10 differently

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[Editor's note: This article has been updated to better characterize how these four states will handle ICD-10 codes as of Oct. 1.]

Four state Medicaid programs have been approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to delay transitioning to direct ICD-10 code processing by the Oct. 1 deadline. 

California, Louisiana, Maryland and Montana were given an exemption from the deadline because their claims systems are unable to process the new ICD-10 codes without extra transition help, according to Modern Healthcare. Those states will use a “crosswalk” technique, which will allow them to convert claims using the ICD-10 system into ICD-9 codes to calculate payments. 

CMS noted that the crosswalk technique is not a long-term approach. Risks of the technique include codes that don't match up with similar concepts when converting codes from one set to another, and providers facing delayed or rejected claims due to cross-coding issues. The states are expected to acquire claims processing systems that can handle ICD-10 coding directly in the future.