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MGMA Urges 'End-to-End' ICD-10 Testing

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2013

Failure to comprehensively test the ICD-10 diagnostic coding system will dramatically increase the potential of catastrophic cash flow disruption for physicians practices, says the Medical Group Management Association.


Susan Turney, MD

Susan L. Turney, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, MGMA-ACMPE

The October 2014 roll out of ICD-10 could become a fiasco of epic proportions unless the federal government mandates more rigorous "end-to-end" testing of the complex diagnostic coding system to ensure that it actually works, the Medical Group Management Association told the federal government this week.

In a letter Monday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, MGMA President Susan L. Turney, MD, commended the government's decision to initiate testing of ICD-10. However, Turney called the planned "front-end" testing that determines if providers can file claims correctly "simply insufficient. We strongly urge that the agency undertake full end-to-end testing with physician practices as soon as possible."

"Failure to appropriately test ICD-10 could result in operational problems similar to what the department experienced with the rollout of healthcare.gov and will dramatically increase the potential of catastrophic cash flow disruption for practices following the Oct. 1, 2014 transition date," Turney said in the letter.

"Complete end-to-end testing is critical for a number of reasons. First, this type of comprehensive testing permits software developers, such as those in the practice management system and electronic health record field, to ensure that software can be appropriately configured for physician practices."

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