The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have officially announced the timeline for ICD-10 testing. After finalizing the compliance date of October 1, 2015, earlier this month, the organization has now released a statement detailing the three separate week-long periods testing will take place leading up to the deadline.
The first testing week, and the only one that will occur this year, will run from November 17 to 21. The others will take place between March 2-6 and June 1-5 in 2015. If your practice or organization hasn't found healthcare coding and consulting services yet, there's still time to find the necessary help.
In addition, the release also outlines "key points of the testing process," including the processes that will affect claims. Claims payment will reportedly not be impacted by this.
Even though experts have identified the need for testing, the timeline has already provoked some criticism among medical professionals. An article for EHR Intelligence featured quotes from Dr. Steven Stack, president of the American Medical Association, on the problems that even the extended deadline still presents.
"While the AMA appreciates that physicians have additional time to comply with ICD-10, we continue to have fundamental concerns about ICD-10 and its implementation, which will not be resolved by the extra time," Dr. Stack said. He argues that the rush to meet the deadline still runs the risk of disturbing claims and leaving practitioners struggling to avoid fines in the long run.
To understand the implications of this plan and be timely in response to any other official dates, practices have the resources of healthcare consulting firms.