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With three months until the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding, CMS and the AMA have announced efforts to continue to help physicians get ready ahead of the October 1 deadline. They will offer webinars, on-site training, educational articles and national provider calls to help physicians and other health care providers learn about the updated codes and prepare for the transition.
“With easy to use tools, a new ICD-10 Ombudsman, and added flexibility in our claims audit and quality reporting process, CMS is committed to working with the physician community to work through this transition,” says Andy Slavitt, the Acting Administrator of CMS.
The International Classification of Diseases, or ICD, is used to standardize codes for medical conditions and procedures and has not been updated in more than 35 years. The use of ICD-10 should advance public health research and emergency response through detection of disease outbreaks and adverse drug events, as well as support innovative payment models that drive quality of care. CMS’ free help includes the “Road to 10” aimed specifically at smaller physician practices with primers for clinical documentation, clinical scenarios, and other specialty-specific resources to help with implementation. CMS has also released provider training videos that offer helpful ICD-10 implementation tips.
The AMA also has a broad range of materials available to help physicians prepare for the October 1 deadline. To learn more and stay apprised on developments, visit AMA Wire.
CMS has plegded flexibility in the first year of the new coding system, Medicare will not deny claims based solely on the specificity of diagnosis codes, provided they are in the appropriate family of ICD-10 codes. However, physicians still will not be able to use ICD-9 codes after Sept. 30, 2015, nor will they be able to accept claims for both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes.