- In parallel with its announcement finalizing October 1, 2015 as the new ICD-10 deadline, CMS has released an outline of a comprehensive approach intended to help providers prepare for the switchover.
- The plan includes internal testing of CMS' claims processing systems, beta testing tools initiated by providers, acknowledgment testing and end-to-end testing.
- For the end-to-end initiative, CMS says that about 2,550 volunteer providers will have three opportunities for testing.
CMS says it has three goals for testing. It wants to make sure the providers can successfully submit claims using ICD-10 codes with the Medicare fee-for-service claims systems; show that CMS software changes supporting ICD-10 can generate correctly adjudicated claims; and show that the systems can produce accurate remittance advice. If the agency can demonstrate these functionalities, providers should feel a lot more confident that the program will go forward successfully.
However, despite the extensions in the ICD-10 deadline and efforts to make sure that providers know they'll be paid, trade groups for doctors remain skeptical. The AMA continues to consider ICD-10 to be a "massive underfunded mandate" which is compounded by coming at a time when doctors are trying to meet several other tech requirements, says AMA President-elect Steven Stack. And the MGMA's senior policy advisor Robert Tennant says members remain concerned that cash flow could be affected once ICD-10 kicks in.