The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be sticking to its October 1, 2014, date for implementation of the new International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) codes, with no rollback of compliance dates and only limited "hardship exemptions" from the requirement. The announcement puts new emphasis on the importance of the new system's Medicare testing week set for March 3-7.
The announcement was made by CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner during remarks at a meeting on February 27. Modern Healthcare quoted Tavernner as saying "Let's face it guys, we've delayed this several times, and it's time to move on."
The ICD-10 codes will replace the ICD-9 codes used to report diagnoses and inpatient procedures. The changes will affect all entities and providers covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), and are a key component in reimbursement, quality, utilization review, and other data management activities.
To prepare for the change CMS has requested all Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) to participate in a week of testing the new codes, March 3 – 7. Registration information was forwarded to providers by all MACs earlier this month, and registration is required to participate in the testing week. APTA encourages all physical therapist practices and facilities to register and participate in the testing week. Although no dates have been released, CMS indicated in a webinar last week that there will likely be future testing dates for providers who are not yet ready to test ICD-10 claims.
APTA has been helping physical therapists (PTs) prepare for the shift by creating resources that explain the new system and its impacts. Additionally, the association hosted a webinar on the move to ICD-10 in December, and will host another on March 27. A recording of the December presentation is available for download. Access to the live version of the March 27 webinar is on a space-available basis, and a recording of the webinar should be available approximately 1 week after the event.
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