Note: Congress has passed legislation to delay ICD-10 implementation until October 1, 2015. Read the full story here.

The switch to ICD-10 isn’t happening until October 1, 2014, but healthcare industry leaders have tirelessly touted the importance of early preparation. To that end, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow Medicare providers—including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists—to submit ICD-10 codes in a testing environment during the week of March 3–7.

During the Medicare testing week, you can include ICD-10 codes for fake patients on Medicare claim forms with dates of service ranging from October 1, 2013, to March 3, 2014. This will allow you to see whether your Medicare administrative contractor (MAC) can receive and process such claims. Following the testing week, practitioners who submitted test claims will receive electronic notification of the status of those claims. However, per Common Electric Data Interchange, “testing will not confirm claim payment or produce remittance advice.” We want to emphasize that during testing week, you are to only use fake patients as none of these test claims will receive acceptance or reimbursement.

This is an opportunity for you to assess your ICD-10 readiness in a practice environment. Plus, according to CMS, local MACs will beef up their support resources—including real-time desktop support from at least 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM every day during the testing week—to accommodate the anticipated spike in phone calls.

If you wish to participate, you’ll need to visit your local MAC’s website. From there, look for the ICD-10 icon and click it. That will take you to a blurb about testing week with a link to register. Please note that while WebPT will not release its full-scale ICD-10 functionality prior to the testing week, we will have an ICD-10 testing module available to any Member interested in participating. However, most of our integrated billing services will be conducting testing independently of WebPT, so while all WebPT Members will be able to test in WebPT, they won’t be able to complete the testing process by carrying their test claims through the billing process. For this reason, we recommend that only those WebPT Members who submit their own claims to Medicare or those Members who use the WebPT Billing Service or AdvancedMD participate in Medicare testing week.

As we obtain details from these billing services—as well as further instructions about testing within WebPT—we’ll share them here on ICD10forPT.com, on the WebPT blog, and via email. We’ll also keep you posted about ICD-10 and Medicare developments as well as details regarding the launch of our full ICD-10 solution.

So, to recap, if you want to test ICD-10 codes in your clinic during Medicare testing week:

  1. Determine how you will submit test claims to Medicare (either directly to Medicare independently or through the WebPT Billing Service or AdvancedMD if you’re a customer).
  2. Visit your MAC website, click the ICD-10 icon, and follow their instructions on how to register.
  3. Keep your eyes peeled for an email explaining WebPT’s ICD-10 testing module, which we’ll release later this month.
  4. Check out ICD10forPT.com, peruse the WebPT blog, and sign up for our electronic newsletters to stay on top of all things ICD-10.