5 Key CMS Resources for ICD-10 Preparation

American Medical Association President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, has urged HHS to reconsider making physicians convert to ICD-10.

In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this month, Dr. Madara wrote transitioning to ICD-10 by Oct. 1 will place a "crushing burden" on physicians. The AMA has even taken to Twitter to protest the deadline with the hashtag #stopICD10.

DoctorHowever, in a Feb. 20 ICD-10 readiness webinar, Robert Tagalicod — director of CMS' Office of E-Health Standards and Services — made it clear the agency won't change its mind. "The first point I want to make is to make really clear that the Oct. 1, 2014, date is firm," he said. "If you are a medical practice and haven't talked with your vendors, clearinghouses and payers, now is the time to act."

Mr. Tagalicod said CMS has been working closely with medical societies, providers, payers and clearinghouses to help the transition to ICD-10 go smoothly. Last week, the agency announced it will offer end-to-end ICD-10 testing this summer. The testing will allow providers, payers and others to submit practice claims to and receive feedback from CMS. The agency will also offer more limited testing from March 3-7, during which participating providers will simply be informed if their claim was accepted or rejected.

CMS also seeks to keep everyone up-to-date through its website. Here are five of the key resources available from the CMS site to help providers, payers and others prepare for the switch to ICD-10.

1. ICD-10 implementation guide. The CMS online ICD-10 implementation guide is a Web-based tool providing step-by-step advice on transitioning to ICD-10 for payers, small hospitals and physician practices.  

2. Fact sheets on understanding the basics. CMS' site offers various fact sheets to introduce providers, payers and others to ICD-10, explain why the transition is necessary and provide basic information needed for implementation. These include sheets titled "ICD-10 Basics for Small and Rural Practices," "ICD-10 FAQs" and "Talking to Your Vendors About ICD-10: Tips for Medical Practices." 

3. Teleconferences. CMS has been holding provider education teleconferences regarding the transition to ICD-10. These calls have addressed topics such as preparing physicians for ICD-10 and ICD-10 basics. Presentation materials, written transcripts and audio recordings of previous calls are available here. 

4. General equivalency mappings. ICD-10 general equivalency mappings, or "crosswalks," for 2014 are available on CMS' website. GEMs serve as a tool for converting data from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and vice versa. 

5. Implementation checklists and timelines. CMS provides detailed timelines and checklists of tasks providers and payers need to carry out to successfully make the switch to ICD-10. There are specific checklists and timelines for small hospitals, payers and practices of all sizes.

More Articles on ICD-10:
5 Recent Stories on ICD-10  
CMS Launches Online ICD-10 Tool for Small Practices  
CMS Posts Final ICD-10 End-to-End Testing Checklists 

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