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ICD-10, Dual Coding, and Dual Processing

Discussions of ICD-9 and ICD-10 often include mention of the terms dual processing and dual coding. Different people use these terms to mean different things, but in general, dual coding or processing refers to the use of ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes at the same time. So, when can you expect to use dual coding and processing and when can’t you?

Testing to Prepare for ICD-10

Dual coding and dual processing can be useful tools to prepare for ICD-10 by testing whether you are able to prepare, send, receive, and process transactions with ICD-10. However, ICD-10 can be used for testing purposes only before the compliance date; providers and payers cannot use ICD-10 in “live” transactions for dates of service before the ICD-10 compliance date.

Dual Coding and Dual Processing After the Compliance Date

Following the ICD-10 compliance date, providers and payers must use:

  • ICD-9 in transactions for services provided before the compliance date
  • ICD-10 in transactions for services provided on or after the compliance date

When Is the ICD-10 Compliance Date?

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) expects to release a final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date that would require the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015. The new compliance date would give providers an extra year to prepare. The final rule would also require the continued use of ICD-9 for services provided through September 30, 2015.

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