Three major health care provider associations — AHA, AMA and MGMA — are applauding Medicare’s decision to conduct at least limited end-to-end testing of ICD-10 this summer, but at the same time reminding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of other concerns with its preparations. Here are the organizations’ statements:

American Hospital Association

“The AHA is pleased that CMS will be moving forward with end-to-end testing that will include claim adjudication. Extensive, end-to-end testing is crucial to ensure a smooth transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. To ensure a successful transition, between now and the end of June, the focus must be on testing both connectivity and content of claims using ICD-10 codes.  We will work closely with CMS to learn more about the details and ensure that as many providers as possible are included in the testing.”

American Medical Association

“As a result of the AMA’s advocacy efforts to help alleviate the burdens that physicians will face as a result of the transition to the ICD-10 code set, the federal government agreed to conduct end-to-end testing on ICD-10 for select providers. The AMA believes end-to-end testing is essential for ensuring the health care industry will not suffer massive disruptions in claims and payment processing and ultimately risk physicians’ ability to care for their patients. While the AMA is pleased by the federal government’s decision today to conduct end-to-end ICD-10 testing, the AMA continues to urge CMS to reconsider the ICD-10 mandate during a time when physicians are struggling to keep up with many other costly, federal mandates. According to a recent AMA commissioned cost study, the mandated implementation of the ICD-10 code set alone will be dramatically more expensive for most physician practices than previously estimated.

“The AMA urges CMS to conduct the testing as soon as possible and to ensure that there is an adequate sample which includes a variety of different sized medical practices and specialties.  “The AMA is committed to seeing physicians successfully transition to new payment and delivery reform models and adopt well-developed technology that promotes care coordination with real value to patients. Adopting ICD-10, while it may provide benefits to others in the health care system, is unlikely to improve the care physicians provide their patients and takes valuable resources away from implementing delivery reforms and health information technology.”

Medical Group Management Association

“We are pleased to see the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has heeded MGMA’s recommendation and reversed its policy, and will initiate “end-to end” testing of Medicare claims using the new ICD-10 diagnostic codes. MGMA urges CMS, however, to expand the scope of this testing approach to include any provider who wishes to test with them, as well as quickly disseminating results from all Medicare and Medicaid testing efforts. This more robust testing is imperative to identify potential operational problems similar to what was experienced with the rollout of healthcare.gov. At the same time, it will help to decrease the potential of catastrophic cash flow disruption that could impact the ability of practices to treat patients. MGMA recommends physician practices continue to prepare for the transition to ICD-10 and provides tools and resources to assist members to meet this complex challenge.”

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