Take Advantage of CMS Testing Opportunities
At the recent ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meetings held on September 23-24, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the two types of testing they offer: acknowledgment and end-to-end testing.
Acknowledgment testing is offered anytime and allows participants real time help-desk support. Providers, suppliers, billing companies, and clearinghouses may submit acknowledgment test claims until October 1, 2015. CMS held an acknowledgment testing week in March and plan to hold three more: November 17-21, 2014; March 2-6, 2015; and June 1-5, 2015. These testing weeks allow CMS to gather and analyze testing data. In the first acknowledgment testing week, more than 127,000 claims were submitted by approximately 2,600 participating providers, suppliers, billing companies, and clearing houses. This type of testing allows submitters to obtain acknowledgment of acceptance of the electronic data. Registration is not required to participate in these testing events.
The second type of testing CMS performs is end-to-end testing. End-to-end testing will be offered January 26-30, 2015 by the Medicare Administrative contractors (MACs); the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB); and the Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractor. Two additional testing weeks will be offered in April and July 2015. According to CMS, with end-to-end testing, the goal is to show that:
- Providers and other submitters are able to successfully submit claims containing ICD-10 codes to the Medicare Fee for Service (FFS) claims system
- CMS software changes made to support ICD-10 result in appropriately adjudicated claims
- Accurate Remittance Advices are provided
The participants will be chosen by each MAC to provide a sampling of different submitter types. Once chosen, the volunteers may submit 50 additional claims in subsequent testing rounds without having to re-register. Unlike the acknowledgment testing, registration is required for the end-to-end testing weeks. The deadline for the first testing in January has past, but another registration will be held for the next testing week in April. The information will be available on the MAC sites as to when that registration will take place. As AAPC and other organizations emphasize, testing is a very important step in the implementation process for ICD-10. Be sure to take advantage of these offerings.