CMS: ICD-10 testing shows positive results

CMS: ICD-10 testing shows positive results

One month until the ICD-10 implementation deadline on Oct. 1, 2015.

Positive results from a recent ICD-10 test week indicate some health care providers and billers are prepared to meet the expansive new code set's deadline come Oct. 1, 2015.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported an 87 percent acceptance rate for more than 29,000 test claims received during an ICD-10 end-to-end testing week in late July, similar numbers to test weeks earlier this year.

Of those test claims rejected, only 1.8 percent were due to an invalid ICD-10 diagnosis or procedure code, and 2.6 percent were due to submission of an ICD-9 code. Most rejections were due to non-ICD-10 related errors that would not occur during an actual claims process, and some were intentional "negative testing" to ensure claims would be rejected, CMS notes.

But to ensure health care providers won't stumble with the transition to the greater specificity of ICD-10, CMS issued guidance in July that grants doctors a one-year adjustment period.

Starting Oct. 1, 2015, and continuing for one year, CMS will not deny mistakenly coded claims so long as they are a valid code from the correct ICD-10 code family. This leeway does not postpone ICD-10 implementation, but provides doctors a window to gain familiarity amid the transition.

5 Rs to ease ICD-10 transition
With exactly one month until the ICD-10 implementation date on Oct. 1, here are 5 steps to help ensure a smooth transition using AOA member resources.

  1. Ready your office. Purchase the AOA's 2015 Coding Bundle from AOA Marketplace, which includes the 2015 AOA ICD-10 Codes for Optometry, the 2015 AMA Professional Edition CPT Manual and the AOA Express Mapping Card-an easy bridge between ICD-9 and ICD-10.

  2. Reinforce your knowledge. The AOA's 10-part ICD-10 webinar series covers everything from how to prepare for the ICD-10 transition to how to code for specific ocular conditions with an interactive test to ensure proficiency. Click here to submit your coding questions to the AOA's Coding Experts.

    Note: The ability to fast forward and rewind webinars is only available when launching the webinars from Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer Web browsers.

  3. Review your toolkit. Use AOA's ICD-10 resources page as a gateway to other helpful links and resources from CMS, Medscape and other groups. And offers members ICD-10 and CPT information with a library of ICD-10 codes and an ICD-10 crosswalk.

  4. Read your optometry-tailored news. From May to October this year, AOA's Coding Experts are discussing frequently asked ICD-10 questions as part of their recurrent Ask the Coding Experts column in AOA Focus (member login required). And look for additional information and guidance in and the AOA alerts page.

  5. Reach your AOA staff. AOA's Associate Director for Coding and Regulatory Policy, Kara Webb, is available for guidance on resource use and welcomes any suggestions for additional ICD-10 tools and resources doctors may need. Please contact her at

September 1, 2015

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