The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans on releasing an ICD-10 “national timeline” to assist stakeholders in preparing for the expected new October 1, 2015 implementation deadline.

With the one-year delay in the ICD-10 code switchover, CMS recognizes that the timelines have changed, particularly as they relate to testing which is a critical component of the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Currently in development, the national ICD-10 timeline will have specific timeframes by which CMS wants all stakeholders ready to test.

“Part of our effort to align industry and regain that momentum is bringing everyone to the table to develop a national ICD-10 timeline,” said Denesecia Green, acting director of the Administrative Simplification Group at CMS, in a June 26 eHealth Initiative webcast. “It’s a commitment from partners across different sectors. We have about 90 partners that we’re lining up now to commit to when they are going to test. We’re going to make that publicly available for the groups that are willing to do that.”

According to Green, CMS found that when clearinghouses and other vendors were ready for ICD-10 testing some of the small providers were not. “I think what this national timeline will do is lay out which payers are going to test and when their testing timeframes are, so groups can prepare to test with them as appropriate,” she added.

A new national survey finds that about 27 percent of providers will be ready for ICD-10 testing in the third quarter of 2014, 14 percent believe they will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2014, almost 12 percent report they will be ready in the first quarter of 2015, nearly 10 percent are looking at the second quarter of 2015, and 2.5 percent will be ready in the third quarter of 2015.

In addition, a little more than 10 percent of respondents to the survey indicate that they have no plans for ICD-10 end-to-end testing. Of the healthcare organizations who are not planning on performing end-to-end testing, 41 percent say they do not know how to perform testing, 14 percent report that testing costs too much, another 14 percent believe testing is unnecessary, and 6 percent report that their business partners will not perform testing with them.

Last month, CMS canceled limited end-to-end ICD-10 testing that had been scheduled for late July, when a small sample group of providers were to have been given the opportunity to participate in end-to-end testing with Medicare Administrative Contractors and the Common Electronic Data Interchange contractor.

"You should see information on end-to-end testing taking place next year. Details will be forthcoming," stated Green. “CMS is supportive of end-to-end testing. We’re encouraging other payers to do the same.” 

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