New ICD-10 transition period: The healthcare community responds
A subject of debate for several years, the shift to ICD-10 promises great benefits along with the significant burden of increased documentation. However, critics and advocates of the code change may have reached a compromise, following a joint announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA).
CMS will take four steps to ease the ICD-10 transition for providers for a period of one year, including:
- Not denying claims based solely on code specificity; as long as a code is selected from the appropriate code family, it will not be denied
- Not subjecting physicians to penalties for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the value-based payment modifier or meaningful use, as long as they use an ICD-10 code from the correct family of codes
- Authorizing advance payments to physicians if Medicare contractors cannot process claims as a result of problems with ICD-10
- Creating a communication center and appointing an ICD-10 ombudsman to address ICD-10 issues
Does this grace period truly meet the needs of both sides of the ICD-10 debate? Several healthcare organizations and experts spoke out following the announcement — read their opinions below.
AMA, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Medical Association, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CMS, DST Health Solutions, ICD-10, Medicare, Physician Quality Reporting System, PQRS, value-based payment