CMS to Mount End-to-end ICD-10 Testing for Some Providers

Caving to provider concern, CMS announced yesterday that it would implement end-to-end ICD-10 testing this summer for “a small sample group” of providers.

Previously, CMS had required all MACs to implement a testing week (March 3–7, 2014) for all registered “trading partners” that will offer access to a help desk, acknowledgement of receipt of test claims, and a report on the test to CMS by March 18, according to a December posting on the CMS web site.

Since then, providers have maintained that this limited testing is not enough to quell concern about payor and physician readiness for the transition to the new code set.

CMS announced yesterday that it will offer what it calls end-to-end testing for a sample group of providers who will submit test claims to CMS using the ICD-10 codes and receive a formal Remittance Advice that explains the adjudication of the claims. Further details about the test will be disseminated at a later date, according to a notification on the agency’s Medicare Learning Network.

The previously planned acknowledgement testing, scheduled for the week of March 3–7, will take place as previously scheduled.

Both the AMA and the MGMA issued statements applauding the decision, but the AMA continued to urge CMS to delay implementation of the new coding system, due to the administrative burden of complying with overlapping regulatory mandates of the federal meaningful-use program.

“Adopting ICD-10, while it may provide benefits to others in the health care system, is unlikely to improve the care physicians provide their patients and takes valuable resources away from implementing delivery reforms and health information technology,” said Ardis Dee Hoven, president, AMA, in a prepared statement.

MGMA also applauded the decision to implement a more robust testing process, but asked that it be expanded, in light of the recent debacle. “This more robust testing is imperative to identify potential operational problems similar to what was experienced with the rollout of,” said Susan Turney, MD, MS, president and CEO of MGMA in a prepared statement.