ICD-10 testing is not mandatory for small practices; however, they can participate in the testing procedure to get an understanding of how the new coding system will impact their claims processing. Through successful testing, small practices can prepare themselves for handling revenue disruptions caused due to unanticipated claims issues.
With the ICD-10 compliance deadline approaching, interested physicians need to get in touch with the CMS and Medicare Administrative Contractors for registration. Recently, CMS offered a final chance for end-to-end testing for providers in July 2015.
Through a Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractor and Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), a group of healthcare providers will be able to participate in the end-to-end testing of ICD-10 between July 20th and July 24th. Providers who are willing to volunteer in this testing option will have to start applying from 11th May to 22nd May, 2015.
This will be the last opportunity for providers to participate in the testing procedure before the October deadline. In July, around 850 volunteers have the chance of conducting end-to-end testing for the new code set. However, the volunteers will be selected by CMS including, claims clearinghouses, providers and so on.
If your medical practice was a part of the January or April testing sessions, there is no need to appear for the July session. However, if you missed participating, you can volunteer for the coming session by filling up the form available on the MAC (Medicare Administrative Contractors) website and sending it to the CMS by 22nd May. CMS will then review the submitted applications and choose the volunteers for the last ICD-10 end-to-end testing session.
When participating in the testing session, the selected providers will be required to submit future claims and have PTANs (Provider Transaction Access Number), HICNs (Health Insurance Claim Numbers) and NPIs (National Provider Identifiers). These numbers will be used for submission of test claims. If providers fail to submit the required data on time, they will lose the chance to participate in the July testing session.
Through end-to-end testing, small as well as large practices will be able to address issues that might crop up before the ICD-10 transition. For additional assistance, they can also access educational flyers that will be created by CMS to help providers prepare for the transition.
According to the industry experts, small practices with one to five physicians will find this end-to-end testing more challenging. Small number of testing openings and limited resources are two main difficulties faced by small providers. Self-service tests have been designed by some payers for small practices. Payer websites have additional resources to help such practices make a smooth transition or participate in end-to-end testing.