CMS, AMA announce changes to ease ICD-10 transition

icd-graphic-v1.0-06In a joint press release Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the American Medical Association announced changes to help providers make the transition to ICD-10 by the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline.

The Hill (7/7, Sullivan) reports CMS said that for 12 months, Medicare claims will not be denied if providers use the wrong code, as long as the code is in the right family of codes. Federal officials are “also teaming up with the American Medical Association to provide webinars, on-site training and other tools to teach doctors about the new codes.” AMA President Steven Stack, MD, said in a statement, “We appreciate that CMS is adopting policies to ease the transition to ICD-10 in response to physicians’ concerns that inadvertent coding errors or system glitches during the transition to ICD-10 may result in audits, claims denials, and penalties under various Medicare reporting programs.”

Congressional Quarterly (7/7, Subscription Publication) reports Dr. Stack said the 12-month transition period “will give physicians and their practice teams time to get up to speed on the more complicated code set.” CQ adds that the AMA “has been pressing for concessions to help its members in smaller practices.”

Healthcare IT News (7/7) describes Monday’s announcement as a “surprise,” adding that the AMA “played a pivotal role in bringing about these CMS concessions.”

Article from the AMA Morning Rounds, 7/7/2015.