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AHA Releases ICD-10 “Homestretch” Checklist

August 20, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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With just over a month to go until the ICD-10 implementation deadline, the American Hospital Association (AHA) has released a checklist for provider organizations.

According to the most recent ICD-10 Industry Readiness Survey from the Reston, Va.-based Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), nearly one-quarter of physician practice respondents said they will not be ready by the October 1, 2015 ICD-10 implementation deadline and another one-quarter were unsure of their level of readiness.

Nonetheless, AHA’s “homestretch” checklist provides hospital leaders with key steps they should take to ensure a successful transition to ICD-10. The list is divided into three main sections: check internal systems; verify external partner readiness; and consider financial protections.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has already announced three rounds of successful ICD-10 end-to-end testing. Additionally, CMS has announced a joint effort with the American Medical Association (AMA) to help physicians get ready ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline. In response to requests from the provider community, CMS is releasing additional guidance that will aim to allow for flexibility in the claims auditing and quality reporting process as the medical community gains experience using the new ICD- 10 code set. Part of that flexibility includes, for 12 months after ICD-10 implementation, Medicare review contractors will not deny physician or other practitioner claims billed under the Part B physician fee schedule through either automated medical review or complex medical record review based solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code as long as the physician/practitioner used a valid code from the right family of codes.

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