The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced three separate weeks of ICD-10 acknowledgement testing to allow providers, suppliers, billing companies and clearinghouses the opportunity to determine whether CMS will be able to accept their claims with the new codes.

The three weeks of testing are: November 17-21, 2014; March 2-6, 2015; and June 1-5, 2015. While ICD-10 acknowledgement test claims can be submitted anytime up to the new planned October 1, 2015 ICD-10 implementation date, CMS is hoping that specifically designating these three weeks will “generate awareness and interest” and “instill confidence” in the provider community that CMS and Medicare Administrative Contractors are ready and prepared for the ICD-10 implementation.

Under acknowledgement testing, a provider submits a claim to a payer, which is checked for appropriate HIPAA 5010 transaction standard edits, ICD-9 and ICD-10 edits, and transaction dates, with the goal of verifying that the payer can accept the claim.

“The concept of trading partner testing was originally designed to validate the trading partners’ ability to meet technical compliance and performance processing standards during the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) 5010 implementation,” states the CMS announcement. “These testing weeks will allow trading partners access to MACs and [Common Electronic Data Interchange contractor] for testing with real-time help desk support. The event will be conducted virtually and will be posted on the CMS website, the CEDI website and each MAC's website.”

Earlier this month, CMS announced a final rule establishing October 1, 2015, as the new ICD-10 compliance date and the continued use of ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015.

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