ICD-10: Register for Medicare Testing Week by Feb. 28

Medicare’s national testing week for ICD-10 is less than a month away — March 3 through 7. This testing period is for current direct submitters of Medicare claims, i.e., physicians, providers, and clearinghouses. 

To participate, you must register by Feb. 28; however, if your practice is linked to a clearinghouse or billing services, you do not need to register to participate. But do check with your clearinghouse/billing service to verify it is participating in the testing  and follow up to find out how successful it was.

Novitas Solutions has added FAQs about testing week to its ICD-10 webpage. Novitas recommends you continue to check this page as you prepare to test. You also should regularly check  your various other payers' ICD-10 webpages for news about testing and the transition to ICD-10. External testing is an important part of ICD-10 implementation that enables you to verify the proper use of ICD-10 processes, procedures, and systems, and to make sure all of your ICD-10 changes will work with your business trading partners and vendors. Ahead of testing week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is holding a one-day CMS eHealth Summit on Feb. 14 at which health industry thought leaders will share perspectives on preparing for ICD-10. You can attend free via webcast, but you must register.

But Let's Back Up

Of the nine critical steps in the American Medical Association's "ICD-10 Timeline: Meeting the Compliance Date" (PDF), external testing is No. 8 and is estimated to take six months. The 1CD-10 transition date is Oct. 1— now less than 10 months away.

If your practice hasn't made substantial progress on steps one through seven in AMA's 22-month transition timeline, it's time to get down to business. You'll need to upgrade your practice management system. You'll need to update your office documents, from superbills to x-ray forms, including authorization forms, lab forms, referral forms, and any other paper forms that use diagnosis codes. And physicians and coding and billing staff need to know the ICD-10 codes relevant to your practice and the documentation elements needed to support them. 

TMA Can Help

  • Bookmark the TMA ICD-10 webpage for tools, resources, news, and tips.
  • Join us for ICD-10 Documentation and Auditing: Success Is in the Details, TMA's new hands-on, detailed ICD-10 training seminar. You and your staff will learn how to use the ICD-10 manual and follow the official coding guidelines, avoid denied claims because deficient documentation led to unspecified codes, and audit your documentation. The seminar runs Feb. 25 through April 10 in cities around Texas. Register by Feb. 14, and get a $20 early bird discount. Use coupon code ICD10EARLY.

 Published Feb. 6, 2014

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