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MGMA Asks HHS Secretary Sebelius to Reverse Course and Reinstate External ICD-10 Testing

July 25, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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The physician group association asks HHS to reverse course and reinstitute plans for external testing of the ICD-10 process
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On July 23, the leaders of the Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), asking Secretary Sebelius to reverse a policy that HHS had just announced regarding testing for the implementation of the ICD-10 coding system. The letter, which was sent to Sebelius under the signature of Susan L Turney, MGMA’s president and CEO, begun thus: “Dear Secretary Sebelius: The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is extremely concerned with the Medicare announcement that it will not be conducting ICD-10 end-to-end testing with external trading partners, including physician practices. We strongly urge,” the letter continued, “that you immediately reverse this policy and expedite Medicare ICD-10 end-to-end testing. This action would decrease the potential of a catastrophic backlog of Medicare claims following the Oct. 1., 2014 compliance date. Failure to do so could result in significant cash flow disruption for physicians and their practices, and serious access to care issues for Medicare patients.”

What’s more, the letter said, “ICD-10 will be one of the most sifniciant changes the physician practice community has ever undertaken—impacting both the clinical and administrative sides of every care delivery organization.” MGMA represents 13,200 physician organizations nationwide, with those organizations in turn encompassing 280,000 physicians, who provide more than 40 percent of the healthcare services delivered in the U.S., according to the association.

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