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.

Acknowledgement 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.

End-to-End Testing

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.

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Brad Ericson

Brad Ericson

Publisher at AAPC
Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, has been publisher for more than nine years. Before AAPC he was at Optum for 13 years and at Aetna Health Plans before that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.
Brad Ericson

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Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, has been publisher for more than nine years. Before AAPC he was at Optum for 13 years and at Aetna Health Plans before that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.

3 Responses to “Take Advantage of CMS Testing Opportunities”

  1. Jeannie Rice says:

    I was unable to locate the CMS Volunteer forms on the CMS website by the deadline of October 3, 2014, for ICD-CM-10 volunteer testing. Is there any other way to still be a part of the testing?

  2. Judith Croy CPC says:

    Does this mean we coders who work for providers can submit claims with side by side ICD-9 and ICD-10 diagnosis codes? Will CMS communicate with us if the ICD-10 codes are not a match with the ICD-9 ones? Would we send copies of the documentation for them to check our accuracy? I thought CMS was going to reject any claims submitted prior to Oct. 1, 2015. So I am assuming if we send claims with both systems, they will see if the ICD-10 codes we chose support the CPT coding. I guess you can tell I am confused by this notice and how it will affect me. I am very worried that my claims will be rejected after the ICD-10 goes into effect, and need some reassurance before that deadline, that I am coding properly.

  3. Michelle Herman says:

    Can you reccommend a source for ICD-10 training or education for a group of five Gastroenterology coders? Are there on line sources available, etc. that you find reputable?
    Thank you for your time and consideration towards this matter.
    Michelle Herman, CPC

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