This article originally appeared in Managed Care Contracting & Reimbursement Advisor, October 2013.
CMS is moving forward with the switch to ICD-10 whether you're ready or not, and it won't test the system before putting your revenue at risk. That decision to go forward without testing how the new process works for physicians is being criticized as hasty and risky.
CMS recently posted a statement on its website saying, "Medicare does not plan to pursue testing of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) claims directly with providers for ICD-10 at this time. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) feels confident that the current level of testing that is done each quarter for any changes to the Medicare claims processing systems is effective to ensure that claims will be processed properly and that ICD-10 diagnosis codes will be accepted and claims will be processed correctly."
See Also: Failing to Prep for ICD-10 Will Cost You
The CMS decision could have disastrous results, says Robert Tennant, MA, senior policy advisor at MGMA.
"The entire industry is going be vectoring toward October 2014 with no guarantee that physician services are going to be paid," he says. "The potential for catastrophic backlogs of Medicare claims is extremely high."