The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today several changes to the plan for ICD-10 implementation in the US. The changes come as a result of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) hard push for a grace period. AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD, explained the adjustments in a post published today on AMA Viewpoints. We’ve reviewed this post, and here’s what we’ve learned:

  1. During the first year of the ICD-10 transition, CMS will not deny payment based on ICD-10 coding errors.
  2. CMS will not subject eligible professionals to ICD-10-related penalties associated with the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) as long as those professionals use codes from the correct ICD-10 family of codes. CMS also will not apply penalties if professionals experience difficulties calculating quality scores for these programs as a result of ICD-10 implementation.
  3. CMS will authorize advance payments to healthcare providers if Medicare contractors are unable to process claims as a result of problems with ICD-10.
  4. CMS will establish a communication center to monitor and quickly resolve issues. This includes designating an ICD-10 ombudsman who is devoted to triaging practitioner issues.

CMS has since released this statement; please stay tuned to the WebPT Blog for updates. Head to ICD10forPT.com for more information about ICD-10 and the upcoming transition.