ICD-10 Preparedness: Are You Ready?

NCTracks Survey

The survey of NCTracks users on whether they are ready for ICD-10 implementation this October shows that of the 1,500 who responded the majority have taken steps to prepare, although 35 percent have not yet started the process. The most common reasons giving for not beginning to get ready for this change are: other priorities/competing projects; not enough staff/resources; don’t know enough about it.

In its email report on the survey results, NCTracks said they “hope to see these numbers improve” and plan to send out additional surveys as October gets closer. Other survey results revealed that:

  • 33 percent of respondents have not received ICD-10 information from their billing vendor
  • 25 percent do not know if their practice management software is compliant
  • 36 percent are uncertain if they will be ready for ICD-10 by October 1

CMS Completes Successful ICD-10 Testing

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced CMS successfully completed a week of end-to-end testing of new ICD-10 coding. Approximately 660 providers and billing companies nationwide submitted nearly 15,000 test claims between January 26 and February 3. Overall, participants were able to successfully submit ICD-10 claims and have them processed through CMS billing systems.

“This successful week of testing continues to put us on course for successful implementation of this important initiative that better reflects modern practice of medicine by Oct. 1, 2015,” Tavenner said.

Tavenner also sought to clarify that everyone must use ICD-9 for services provided before the October 1 deadline and ICD-10 for services provided on or after October 1, 2015. That means ICD-10 can be used only for test purposes before October 1. And, only ICD-10 can be used for doctor’s visits and other services that happen on or after October 1. ICD-9 cannot be used to bill for services provided on or after October 1. This rule applies no matter when the claim is submitted, so claims submitted after October 1, 2015, for services provided before that date must use ICD-9 codes. These rules and others around adopting ICD-10 apply to all health care providers, not just those who accept Medicare or Medicaid.

CMS is offering other testing opportunities if your practice would like to participate.

ICD-10 Resources

Fact sheet on ICD-10.

CMS website cms.gov/ICD-10, offers many resources, including the Road to 10 tool, designed especially for small medical practices.

CMS has released two animated shorts, less than 4 minutes each that explain key ICD-10 concepts:

Introduction to ICD-10 Coding” gives an overview of ICD-10’s features and explains the benefits of the new code set to patients and to the health care community.

ICD-10 Coding and Diabetes” uses diabetes as an example to show how the code set captures important clinical details.



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