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ICD-10 Deadline October 1, 2015: Test Your Systems and Processes

Get Ready Now with the New CMS Quick Start Guide!

While ICD-10 is almost here, you still have time to get ready. But you must get ready now.

Each day this week we are highlighting 1 of the 5 steps from the new Quick Start Guide:

  1. Make a Plan
  2. Train Your Staff
  3. Update Your Processes
  4. Talk with Your Vendors and Health Plans
  5. and Test Your Systems and Processes. Today our focus is

Step: 5 Test Your Systems and Processes

  • Verify that you can use your ICD-10-ready systems to:
    • Generate a claim
    • Perform eligibility and benefits verification
    • Schedule an office visit
    • Schedule an outpatient procedure
    • Prepare to submit quality data
    • Update a patient’s history and problems
    • Code a patient encounter
  • Test your systems with partners like vendors, clearinghouses, billing services, and health plans; focus on those partners that you work with most often
    • Medicare providers can conduct acknowledgement testing with their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) until the October 1 compliance date
  • Explore alternate ways to submit claims to health plans if you think your systems will not be ready for ICD-10 by Oct 1:
    • For Medicare providers, options include:
      • Free billing software available from every MAC website
      • Part B claims submission by online provider portal (in about ½ of MAC jurisdictions)
      • Paper claims for providers who meet Administrative Simplification Compliance Act Waiver requirements
      • Each of these options requires you to code in ICD-10
    • Ask other health plans you work with about the options they offer


  • Your clearinghouses and billing services can conduct Medicare acknowledgement testing on your behalf
  • Many major health plans report that they have portals or other options in place for providers who cannot submit ICD-10 claims electronically
  • If you think you might need to use an alternate claims submission method for Medicare, get started now
    • Allow time for you and your staff to complete free training on billing software or portals before October 1
    • You must register for each MAC portal that you use
  • If you are eligible to submit paper claims for Medicare and wish to do so, order CMS 1500 forms from the Government Publishing Office or your office supply store
    • Photocopies cannot be used because they cannot be scanned correctly

To learn more about getting ready, visit for free resources including the Road to 10 tool designed especially for small and rural practices, but useful for all health care professionals.

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