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GAO Report: ICD-10 Stakeholders Concerned Over Testing

February 9, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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In what has been a recurring theme, ICD-10 stakeholders are concerned with the testing practices by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The latest findings were revealed in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that was produced at the behest of Congressional leaders. The GAO evaluated to see how CMS was preparing providers, payers, and other stakeholders on the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. They analyzed responses from 28 stakeholder organizations which participated in CMS meetings regarding ICD-10 in 2013. 
What the GAO found was that stakeholders, of all kinds, were concerned with the thoroughness of CMS’ ICD-10 testing activities, specifically Medicare fee-for-service end-to-end testing. In response, CMS said that it was conducting three rounds of end-to-end testing in 2015 with 2,550 covered entities. Stakeholders are concerned that the number of organizations would not represent all provider types. CMS is attempting to undergo testing at smaller provider facilities as well. CMS also says the number of covered entities that will be tested will exceed the number requested by stakeholder groups.
Another topic of concern for stakeholder groups is educational materials on ICD-10 put out by CMS. The Stakeholders are asking, according to GAO, for more in-person training and additional specialty-specific materials. CMS says it has plans to do this before the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline. The stakeholders are asking CMS to create more awareness on which educational materials are available for stakeholders. They also recommended that CMS do more to engage covered entities through non-electronic methods and to make its Medicare fee-for-service contingency plans public.
A few medical groups are seeking additional delays to ICD-10. There have been two delays thus far. For its part, GAO did not indicate whether or not a delay was necessary. HHS concurred with its recommendations. 


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