The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in an effort to initiate end-to-end ICD-10 testing with physician practices.
According to the letter, signed by Susan Turney, M.D., president and CEO of MGMA, the front-end testing to be conducted for the new code-set is insufficient and could result in operational problems. Without end-to-end testing, the MGMA predicts the HHS could experience similar back-end problems to the rollout of healthcare.gov, which would dramatically increase the potential of catastrophic cash flow disruption for practices following the Oct. 1, 2014 transition date.
MGMA says end-to-end testing is vital for three reasons. It permit software developers, such as those in the practice management system and electronic health record (EHR) field, to ensure that software can be appropriately configured for physician practices. Second, it identifies critical problems well prior to the Oct.1, 2014 compliance date. Lastly, it “is the only practical method practices will have to accurately predict and respond to Medicare coding edits and fully understand the impact that ICD-10 will have on reimbursement.
Moreover, MGMA says if HHS is unable to provide testing services for all willing providers, the associate urges it to conduct end-to-end testing with a “sufficient number and breadth of specialties to facilitate the identification of the most common claim adjudication issues.”
MGMA has added a series of recommendations that work in conjunction with its overall statement that end-to-end ICD-10 testing should be implemented. These recommendations largely center on readiness.