Monday, June 2, 2014

CMS Advises Delay in ICD-10 Front-End Testing Until October

Providers, suppliers, billing companies and clearinghouses can submit ICD-10 acknowledgement test claims anytime up to the new planned October 1, 2015 ICD-10 implementation date. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is advising stakeholders to delay this front-end testing until after October 6, 2014, when Medicare is scheduled to update its systems.

A May 30 announcement from Niall Brennan, acting director of the CMS Offices of Enterprise Management, recommended that submitters contact their local Medicare Administrative Contractor for additional information about ICD-10 acknowledgment testing, which will allow providers, suppliers, billing companies and clearinghouses the opportunity to determine whether CMS will be able to accept their claims with ICD-10 codes.

In March, Brennan said that CMS successfully conducted a week of ICD-10 testing for more than 127,000 claims that were submitted with ICD-10 codes to the Medicare Fee-for-service claims systems and which received electronic acknowledgements confirming that their claims were accepted. He reported that about 2,600 participating providers, suppliers, billing companies and clearinghouses participated in the test week--representing about five percent of all submitters--and that this testing did not identify any issues with the Medicare FFS claims systems. 

Brennan also informed stakeholders that CMS will be conducting end-to-end ICD-10 testing in 2015. "Details about this testing will be released soon," he said. In May, CMS canceled limited end-to-end testing that had been scheduled for late July, when CMS planned to give a small sample group of providers the opportunity to participate in end-to-end testing with Medicare Administrative Contractors and the Common Electronic Data Interchange contractor.

The Department of Health and Human Services expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date requiring the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015. The rule will require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015. Last week, CMS announced that the partial code freeze for ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 will continue through October 1, 2015.

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