• Medicare sets dates for ICD-10 testing

    If you remember "mid-terms" in school, they were tests administered to gauge your level of knowledge and understanding of a course ahead of the big exam at the end of semester.

    When it comes to implementing ICD-10-CM next October 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has scheduled its own version of mid-terms. The agency has instructed all of the Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) to  conduct ICD-10 tests with trading partners, including physicians, during the week of March 3-7, 2014.

    The MACs plan to validate whether trading partners can meet technical compliance and performance processing standards necessary for implementing ICD-10 on schedule. The tests will also give the MACs and CMS itself a chance to show they're ready to implement ICD-10 as well.

    The event will be conducted virtually and will be posted on each MAC's website as well as the CMS website. Each MAC will announce and promote the testing week through listserv messages and on its website and publicize how to register for the testing week at least four weeks before it begins.

    Physicians and other trading partners will have access to real-time electronic data interchange help desk support, which will be available at least from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local contractor time. They will also have enough support to handle any increased call volume. Participating providers and suppliers will receive electronic acknowledgement confirming that submitted test claims were accepted or rejected.

    Following the tests and by March 18, the MACs will report to CMS the number and percentage of trading partners who participated in the testing, what percentage of test claims were accepted, and any significant problems found during testing.

    Note that this is not full cycle end-to-end simulated claims submission testing, which would track a claim from initial connectivity and claim submittal all the way through remittance advice, denials, and refund requests. CMS officials have previously said they would not provide end-to-end testing, but there has been some indication lately that they may be reconsidering that position.

    Stay tuned.

    – Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians

    Posted on Dec 10, 2013 by David Twiddy

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