CMS and AMA announce efforts to help providers prepare for ICD-10

July 7, 2015

With less than three months remaining until the nation switches from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding for medical diagnoses and inpatient hospital procedures, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA) are announcing efforts to continue 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 allow for flexibility in the claims auditing and quality reporting process as the medical community gains experience using the new ICD- 10 code set.

Recognizing that healthcare providers need help with the transition, CMS and AMA are working to make sure physicians and other providers are ready ahead of the transition to ICD-10. Reaching out to providers all across the country, CMS and AMA will be educating providers through webinars, on-site training, educational articles, and national provider calls to help physicians and other healthcare providers learn about the updated codes and prepare for the transition.

“As we work to modernize our nation’s healthcare infrastructure, the coming implementation of ICD-10 will set the stage for better identification of illness and earlier warning signs of epidemics, such as Ebola or flu pandemics.” says Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “With easy to use tools, a new ICD-10 ombudsman, and added flexibility in our claims audit and quality reporting process, CMS is committed to working with the physician community to work through this transition.”

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is used to standardize codes for medical conditions and procedures. The medical codes America uses for diagnosis and billing have not been updated in more than 35 years and contain outdated, obsolete terms.

The use of ICD-10 should advance public health research and emergency response through detection of disease outbreaks and adverse drug events, as well as support innovative payment models that drive quality of care.

CMS’ free help includes the “Road to 10” aimed specifically at smaller physician practices with primers for clinical documentation, clinical scenarios, and other specialty-specific resources to help with implementation. CMS has also released provider training videos that offer helpful ICD-10 implementation tips.

The AMA also has a broad range of materials available to help physicians prepare for the October 1 deadline. To learn more and stay apprised on developments, visit AMA Wire.

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