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Latest ICD-10 Rumblings

With the ICD-10 implementation less than 100 days away and some rumblings comingfrom Capitol Hill, CMS and the four largest medical societies, we will be closely analyzing announcements and updates as we learn of them.

October 1st is still the Official ICD-10 implementation date

October 1st, 2015 remains the official ICD-10 implementation date, and according to CMS, ICD-9 claims with a date of service on or after October 1st, 2015 will be rejected.  However, Medicare is providing options if for some reason you cannot submit ICD-10 claims electronically.  For example, Medicare is offering free billing software and there will be Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) provider internet portals available so claims can be submitted.

Will there be a two-year grace period?

If the nation's four largest medical societies get their way there could be a two-year graceperiod for the following purposes:

  • Ensures physicians "will not be penalized for errors, mistakes, and/or malfunctions of the system;
  • A two-year period in which physicians will not be subject to RAC audits related to ICD-10 coding mistakes;
  • A two-year period during which physician payments will not be reduced or withheld based on ICD-10 coding mistakes; and advance payments in the event that claims are delayed."

Collectively, the four largest medical societies – the California Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Medical Society of the State of New York, and Texas Medical Association – issued a letter to Mr. Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on June 18, 2015. The letter to Mr. Slavitt concludes:

Even if ICD-10 were "the best thing since sliced bread," its forced implementation would not be worth the extensive disruptions in patient care that surely will come without the grace period. The reduced productivity alone will cost physician practices hundreds of thousands of dollars and extend patient waiting times.  We stand ready to work with you, the administration, and Congress to help you achieve this tremendously important goal.

We will be keeping a close eye on these and other ICD-10 rumblings to see how CMS and/or congress decide to act. For now, we urge you and your organization to continue your ICD-10 readiness efforts.

If you have any additional questions about ICD-10 or any additional healthcare compliance questions, please feel free to comment below or send us an email at [email protected] or reach us by phone toll-free at 855-427-0427.

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