As we approach the October “deadline”, many of us have been wondering wither it will actually happen this time, will the US finally adopt ICD-10 as standard procedure??!
There has been signs and messages that perhaps this time it’s really happening, however based upon recent events you would not be considered foolish if you believe it will actually happen this time!
CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has stepped up and released their guidance notes on how to submit ICD-10 coding, but they didn’t stop there, they have also proposed an ICD-10 “Coordination Center” and more importantly, they have made a new ICD-10 Ombudsman position! His main responsibility will be to answer questions and provide guidance on successful claims submission.
That’s a huge relief, it shows that CMS is prepared and ready to aid and support the healthcare community. Yet the biggest concern remains specifically, is my cash flow going to be severely affected by this transition? It’s all fair and well to have an Ombudsman but if he is not helping me to get paid then what good is he??
Well, CMS has in fact FULLY considered this, in fact they have addressed it directly and it was summed up perfectly in this statement. “Medicare claims, for the first year of ICD-10 use, will not be denied or audited based solely on the specificity of diagnosis codes, as long as the codes on such claims are from the correct family of codes in the new code set”. However, this statement was actually from AMA president Steven Stack, why? Well it was released as part of a joint announcement that the AMA (American Medical Association) will fully support CMS’s proposals to ease the transition!
It would seem that all barriers and obstacles are falling with CMS and AMA now on the same page, failing some unforeseen event ICD-10 will be happening this October.