- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced three separate testing weeks leading into the implementation of the new ICD-10 coding system on October 1, 2015.
- The three testing weeks will run November 17 to 21, 2014; March 2 to 6, 2015; and June 1 to 5, 2015.
- According to CMS, the testing weeks are intended to boost confidence in the new system and to verify providers' "technical compliance and performance processing standards" during implementation.
Although the testing weeks are intended to boost confidence in the new billing procedures, many industry participants remain skeptical of the changeover. There are 68,000 billing codes under the new ICD-10 system, as opposed to a paltry 13,000 under the current ICD-9. The expansive diagnostic codes, intended to smooth billing processes and assist in population health and cost reduction across the healthcare delivery system, have providers across the board worried about integration: A recent survey by the American Health Information Management Association and the eHealth Initiatives found that 38% of providers think revenue will decrease in year following the switch from ICD-9, while only 6% think revenue will increase.
Meanwhile, the trade groups are also unsure of the shift: As Healthcare Dive has previously reported, the AMA continues to consider ICD-10 to be a "massively underfunded mandate" which is compounded by coming at a time when doctors are trying to meet several other tech requirements, according to 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.
Still, providers are preparing for the switch. After yet another delay this year, the official changeover date is set for October 1, 2015, and 40% of respondents say they will be prepared to do end-to-end testing by the end of this year.
Want to read more? You may enjoy this story on the 16 most absurd ICD-10 codes.