ICD-10 testing: CMS announces dates, pubs guidance

A new ICD-10 end-to-end testing period for providers, as well as associated guidance for testing, was revealed this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The new testing period, which will involve a second sample group of providers, according to CMS, will run from April 26, 2015, through May 1, 2015; other testing dates include Jan. 26-30, 2015, and July 20-24, 2015. A total of 850 volunteer submitters will participate in the April testing, which also will include claims clearinghouses that submit claims for multiple providers. The goal of the testing, CMS says, is threefold:

  • To ensure that providers can submit claims with ICD-10 codes to Medicare
  • To ensure that CMS' software changes result in properly adjudicated claims
  • To ensure the creation of accurate remittance advices

Providers who wish to volunteer must fill out a form--available on their Medicare Administrative Contractor's (MAC) website--by Jan. 9, 2015.

The guidance gives providers, clearinghouses and others advice for preparing their test claims, and explains the difference between end-to-end testing and previously announced acknowledgement testing.

"While acknowledgement testing is open to all electronic submitters, end-to-end testing is limited to a smaller sample of submitters who volunteer and are selected for testing," CMS says.

Protected health information, according to CMS, can be used for the testing, as "all the same security protocols will be followed" by MACs. The agency also makes clear that ICD-9 codes cannot be submitted on the same claims as ICD-10 codes.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold hearings focused on ICD-10 implementation in the coming year, chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) announced last week. According to Upton and House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Congress plans to work closely with CMS to "ensure that the deadline can successfully be met by stakeholders."

The deadline for the switch to ICD-10 is Oct. 1, 2015.

To learn more:
- read the testing date update
- here's the guidance (.pdf)