CMS preps for an upload and a shut­down

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Joseph Conn

Just a few days be­fore the Oct. 1 im­ple­men­ta­tion of ICD-10, the CMS is pre­par­ing for another dead­line—a pos­si­ble gov­ern­ment shut­down.

Medi­care and Med­i­caid pay­ments could be de­layed if some Repub­li­can mem­bers of Congress who want to de­fund Planned Par­ent­hood win the bat­tle against the White House and con­gres­sional Democrats.

But, ac­cord­ing to Dr. Pa­trick Con­way, the CMS’ deputy ad­min­is­tra­tor for in­no­va­tion and qual­ity and chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer, those claims would still go through if a con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion is passed to let nec­es­sary pro­grams func­tion. The CMS “would con­tinue to pay claims. And we would ex­e­cute the ICD-10 tran­si­tion,” Con­way said.

ICD-10 om­buds­man Dr. Bill Rogers wrote in a CMS blog post that providers should con­tact him di­rectly with ques­tions. “I’ll be an im­par­tial ad­vo­cate for providers, fo­cused on un­der­stand­ing and re­solv­ing your con­cerns,” he wrote. Rogers’ email ad­dress is ICD10_om­buds­man@CMS.HHS.gov. Af­ter Thurs­day, providers should con­tact their Medi­care ad­min­is­tra­tive con­trac­tors, Rogers said.

The CMS web­site has an in­ter­ac­tive U.S. map with con­tact in­for­ma­tion about the con­trac­tor serv­ing each state. Providers can also email the ICD-10 co­or­di­na­tion cen­ter at ICD10@cms.hhs.gov.

Those ex­pected to be hard­est hit by ICD-10 are small prac­tices with out­dated tech­nol­ogy. The CMS has tried to ad­dress that prob­lem, at least tem­po­rar­ily, by mak­ing avail­able free ICD-10-com­pat­i­ble soft­ware that providers can down­load for billing pur­poses. In some cases, providers may also use Web-based por­tals for claims sub­mis­sions run by their con­trac­tor. Pa­per claims may also be sub­mit­ted.

ICD-10 im­ple­men­ta­tion be­gins Oct. 1.

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