ICD-10: CMS Agrees to Limited End-to-End Testing

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , February 20, 2014

The AMA continues to work toward the implementation deadline even though its House of Delegates has called for the repeal of ICD-10. "Adopting ICD-10, while it may provide benefits to others in the healthcare system, is unlikely to improve the care physicians provide their patients and takes valuable resources away from implementing delivery reforms and health information technology," Hoven said Wednesday.

CMS was also feeling pressure from Congress to address the concerns raised by providers. This week, four Republican U.S. Senators—all of them physicians—sent a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner questioning the plan to conduct limited "front-end" testing for ICD-10.

"Given the size and scope of the potential transition to ICD-10, the brevity and limited scope of this test is worrisome, said the letter, signed by Sens. Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK), John Barrasso, MD (R-WY), John Boozman, OD (R-AR), and Rand Paul, MD (R-KY).

"This change will impact millions of physicians and patients, and hundreds of billions of dollars in payments that flow through Medicare and Medicaid. Other major federal IT projects—such as the implementation of Healthcare.gov—have demonstrated the importance of thorough pre-testing every aspect of new systems, both the front-end and back-end components. System-wide errors and delay could adversely impact both patients' own pocketbooks and provider cash flows."  

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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