CMS Releases ICD-10 Testing FAQs

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  • February 11, 2015
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CMS Releases ICD-10 Testing FAQs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently introduced a new resource for healthcare providers and others who plan to participate in Medicare ICD-10 acknowledgement testing, or ICD-10 end-to-end testing.
MLN Matters® Number: SE1501 lists frequency asked questions (FAQs) regarding registration for testing, who may participate, the expected benefits of testing, and more.
CMS acknowledgement testing is open to all fee-for-service electronic submitters. As explained in SE1501, the goal of acknowledgement testing is to demonstrate that:

  • Providers and submitters can submit claims with valid ICD-10 codes and ICD-10 companion qualifier codes;
  • Providers submitted claims with valid National Provider Identifiers (NPIs)
  • The claims are accepted by the Medicare FFS claims systems; and
  • Claims receive 277CA or 999 acknowledgement, as appropriate, to confirm that the claim was accepted or rejected by Medicare.

Upcoming acknowledgement testing weeks are March 2-6 and June 1-5.
End-to-end testing will be offered to 50 testers per MAC jurisdiction for each testing round. You must be selected by the MAC for this testing. Per CMS, the goal of end-to-end testing is to demonstrate that:

  • Providers and submitters can successfully submit claims containing ICD-10 codes to the Medicare FFS claims systems;
  • Software changes CMS made to support ICD-10 result in appropriately adjudicated claims; and
  • Accurate Remittance Advices are produced.

There are two more end-to-end testing weeks prior to the ICD-10 implementation date of Oct. 1, 2015: April 27-May 1, and July 20-24.
If you haven’t performed testing with all your payers (including Medicare), don’t wait for them to contact you. Reach out to your payers and ask them if they offer ICD-10 testing, and take part. Lessons learned during testing may be vital to a successful transition. Better to confirm your ICD-10 readiness now than to face cash flow problems due to a backlog of unprocessed claims come October.
Resource tip: For additional information on CMS ICD-10 testing, visit the CMS website. You can find further information  in MLN Matters® Number SE1409.


John Verhovshek
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John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is a contributing editor at AAPC. He has been covering medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University.

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