CMS Will Allow Non-specific ICD10 codes for 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a set of new policies related to the Oct. 1, 2015 transition to ICD-10. For the first year that ICD-10 is in place, Medicare claims will not be denied, and eligible professionals will not be penalized under PQRS, the value-based payment modifier or meaningful use based soley on the specificity of the diagnosis codes, as long as they are from the appropriate “family” of ICD-10 codes. In addition, CMS will authorize advance payments to physicians should Medicare contractors be unable to process claims as a result of ICD-10 complications. The Agency also announced plans to create a new communication center to monitor and resolve issues as quickly as possible, as well as an “ICD-10 Ombudsman” to assist providers. In a separate announcement, CMS indicated that nationally it accepted 90% of claims from more than 1,200 submitters who participated in CMS’ third round of ICD-10 “front end” (acknowledgement) testing.

ICD-10 Changeover Poses Risks and Rewards for Anesthesiologists

Mastering the ICD-10 coding transition to optimize reimbursement for anesthesia services will take an effort, but it can pay off in terms of higher practice revenue, less paperwork and greater overall clinical efficiency, experts said.

Although full implementation of the new International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system is planned for October 2014, a lot needs to happen before then, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The agency’s timeline stipulates that doctors and hospitals focus on the communications and high-level training requirements throughout the remainder of 2013 and start more comprehensive training in 2014.

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