ICD-10 Readiness and Timeline

Guest Blogger-Brandi Whitemyer, RN, HCS-D, HCS-O, COS-C, AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM Trainer/Ambassador, Senior Associate


Ready or Not-

Get ready! Believe it or not, ICD-10 is coming. It seems that many out there remain skeptics on this subject, but CMS has made it clear since the August 24, 2012 final rule announcement that the October 1st, 2014 implementation date is set in stone. The Acting Administrator of CMS announced just last week that October 1, 2014 IS THE BIG DAY and there will be NO further delays! ICD-10 is tied to HIPAA regulation; so all providers will be required to comply with the transition. Fortunately, CMS has provided a timeline with suggested practices during the pre-implementation period to assist agencies in preparing for this looming deadline.


Here is what they have to say:


  • Immediately- begin reviewing ICD-10 resources, making staff aware of the upcoming change, and identifying needs for process change within your agency. Design and develop your agency’s ICD-10 implementation plan and assign those responsible. Inquire with vendors and payers regarding their ICD-10 readiness.


  • Spring 2013 through fall 2014- Begin the process of training at your agency. (Keep in mind that due to the extent of change involved you will need to train staff at all levels from field staff to billing to coding to administration.) At this time, staff responsible for coding should be assessed for readiness and trainability to transition to ICD-10. Staff directly involved in the coding process for your agency should begin training for the ICD-10 code set. Clinical and coding staff should all be involved in training to review specific areas that will impact performance on ICD-10, including documentation and anatomy & physiology.


  • October 2013 through January, 2014-CMS is recommending that agencies begin submitting test claims for ICD-10 by October 2013. NGS has been contracted to assist in the submission of test claims for home health. The process of test claim submission can assist in early detection of problem areas, as well as assist agencies in identification of process improvement needs prior to the required October 1st, 2014 implementation date.


  • Spring 2014- Review your agency’s implementation plan for appropriateness and any needed changes. Review preparation of coding and clinical staff and assure the implementation of detailed training no later than 6-9 months prior to the October, 2014 implementation date (9 months recommended). Define vendor readiness and assure systems will be ready for implementation deadline. This is also the time period that we should have information from CMS about grouper changes.


  • October 1st, 2014- full compliance deadline. All services on or before September 31st, 2014 will be coded using the ICD-9 code set. All services initiated on or after October 1st, 2014 will be coded using the ICD-10 code set.


The bottom line is that we are on the fast track to ICD-10 and there is no turning back now! Don’t let your agency fall behind with so much to do in the next 17 months. Selman-Holman & Associates, CoDR—Coding Done Right, and its team of AHIMA Approved ICD-10 Trainers/Ambassadors are ready to help your agency with creating the perfect, seamless ICD-10 transition plan for success!


Call 214-550-1477 or email Lisa@selmanholman.com for more information!

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