Despite recent buzz about yet another ICD-10 delay, as of now, the implementation of the new diagnosis code set will go forward as planned on October 1, 2015. To prepare for the transition, Medicare will conduct a second round of end-to-end testing with a new sample group of providers this April. As with the previous end-to-end testing exercise, this effort will verify that:
- Providers and other claim handlers are able to submit Medicare claims containing ICD-10 codes
- Medicare’s software can correctly process claims containing ICD-10 codes
- Claim submission results in accurate remittance advices
CMS will select approximately 850 test participants from its pool of volunteers. This sample will represent a wide variety of geographic locations, provider types, and claim submission processes. Want to get in on the action? Here’s how to throw your hat in the volunteer ring:
- Visit your local MAC website to get a volunteer form.
- Complete the form and turn it in by January 21.
- Keep your eyes peeled for a selection notification from CMS.
- Receive further testing setup instructions from CMS by January 30 (if you’re selected).
Please note that all volunteers must be able to submit future-dated claims as well as provide valid National Provider Identifiers (NPIs), Provider Transaction Access Numbers (PTANs), and beneficiary Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs). If you are selected for testing and are unable to provide this information to your MAC by February 20, 2015, CMS will eliminate you from the test group.
CMS has an additional end-to-end testing period planned for July 20–24, just a hair over two months before the go-live date. As a side note, those who volunteer to participate in the April testing exercise don’t need to reapply for the July test.
CMS will use the data it collects during the testing week to address any lingering ICD-10 issues and develop appropriate educational materials, thus ensuring a smooth transition come October 1.