Don’t Overlook Free Resources When Preparing Your Laboratory for ICD-10

The transition to ICD-10 is approaching fast and laboratories need to ensure they are prepared. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has indicated in answers to Frequently Asked Questions that Medicare contractors won’t deny physician or other provider claims billed under the Part B physician fee schedule based solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code as long as a valid code from the right family is used, valid ICD-10 codes are needed after Oct. 1, 2015. You also shouldn’t count on that grace period and instead get your laboratory up to speed before the deadline. To help you, CMS and the American Medical Association recently highlighted some free educational resources that can help providers prepare for the new codes.

Among the resources CMS has provided to help physicians adjust to ICD-10:

  • “Road to 10” – a web-based resource for small physician practices that includes a quick start guide, an interactive case study tool that quizzes providers on coding specific clinical scenarios—with new scenarios added weekly, specialty-specific tools, webcasts, videos and assistance in building an action plan for the transition.
  • Training videos.
  • Frequently Asked Questions that indicate there will be some flexibility to account for errors in coding under the new ICD-10 system.

CMS also plans to establish an ICD-10 Ombudsman to assist providers in the transition as well as a communication and collaboration center to monitor implementation. The agency promised guidance explaining how to submit issues and concerns to the Ombudsman.

Note too that CMS has provided You Tube videos titled “ICD-10 Coding Basics” and “Coding for ICD-10-CM: More of the Basics,” both of which specifically include laboratories in the target audience listed. CMS highlighted the “More of the Basics” video in a recent MLN Matters article regarding CLIA-Waived tests. The video includes presentations from American Health Information Management Association and American Hospital Association representatives and offers an introduction to ICD-10 coding and its unique characteristics as well as a comparison to ICD-9 coding.

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