CMS addresses top concerns about 5010 upgrade

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Even though the final implementation date for ICD-10 has yet to be determined, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now is offering responses to top questions about the Version 5010/4010A electronic standards upgrade.

The standards upgrade deadline was Jan. 1, but CMS enacted an enforcement discretion period through June 30, 2012, for all HIPAA-covered entities.

Denise Buenning, MsM, acting deputy director, Office of E-health Standards & Services, provided answers to several questions, including how well the industry is prepared for the ICD-10 transition, what steps organizations behind in the upgrade to Version 5010 should take and how CMS is helping the industry prepare.

“We are hearing that the industry is progressing with Version 5010 implementation,” Buenning said. “We are also hearing that the industry is continuing to take steps to prepare for ICD-10. ICD-10 is a major undertaking for providers, payors and vendors. It will drive business and systems changes throughout the healthcare industry, from large national health plans to smaller provider offices, laboratories, hospitals and more. The updates will go much more smoothly for organizations that plan ahead and prepare now. A successful upgrade to Version 5010 now and transition to ICD-10 later will be vital to transforming our nation's healthcare system.”

Buenning recommended communication among plans, providers, clearinghouses, vendors and other trading partners. CMS has developed a fact sheet covering risk mitigation steps in detail.

CMS is helping the industry prepare for the upgrade by presenting a webinar on May 23 about implementation and problem solving, and the CMS website offers a range of official resources, according to Buenning, who added, “CMS will continue to add new tools and information to the site throughout the course of the transition.”

Visit CMS' ICD-10 website to access official resources.