August 4, 2014

Good News: ICD-10 Implementation Date Announced


July 31 brought good news to the healthcare community with the announcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that Oct. 1, 2015 is the new implementation date for the much-awaited ICD-10 coding set.


This announcement came as a relief to many in healthcare who already have invested much time, effort, resources, and funding into implementation. Note that the final rule on this implementation date is expected to be published in the Federal Register on Aug. 4. 

A joint press release by HHS and CMS (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) indicated that “this deadline allows providers, insurance companies, and others in the healthcare industry time to ramp up their operations to ensure their systems and business processes are ready to go on Oct. 1, 2015.” Large, medium, and small healthcare groups, providers, vendors, etc.  now can get back on track with preparations.

CMS also recently announced some additional good news and more details about ICD-10 end-to-end testing. This certainly helps reassure the healthcare community of CMS’s dedication and support.

Providers and other Medicare submitters will have the opportunity to participate in end-to-end testing with MACs (Medicare Administrative Contractors) and the Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractor in January, April, and July of 2015. CMS stated the goals of this testing are to demonstrate that:

  • Providers and submitters are able to successfully submit claims containing ICD-10 codes to the Medicare FFS claims systems;
  • CMS software changes made to support ICD-10 will result in appropriately adjudicated claims; and
  • Accurate remittance advice can be produced.

CMS will provide additional details about end-to-end testing soon.

In June 2014, CMS released the “Road to ICD-10,” and with that launched a series of coding and documentation educational webcasts targeting physician practices. This new website area explores common codes, primers for clinical documentation, clinical scenarios, and additional resources associated with each specialty. 

Areas that CMS has focused on for physician providers include:

  • Family practice
  • Pediatrics
  • OB-GYN
  • Cardiology
  • Internal medicine
  • Orthopedics
  • Other specialties

Providers can get started on their own plans by visiting the “build your action plan” link within the website. I’ve found some great information in the educational webcasts that can be leveraged for physician, clinical documentation improvement (CDI), and coding professionals alike. Take a look at this great resource online at

There is continued work to be done in the area of documentation improvement. Professional organizations and associations have been providing many opportunities to take advantage of over the last two to three years. The California Health Information Association (CHIA) continues to respond to this need with educational programs focusing on CDI coupled with ICD-10 seminars scheduled to be held in September (they are open to all those interested; go online to for more information). This is just another example of the superb sets of resources out there in the industry for everyone to leverage to their advantage. After all, there is no time like the present to act.

Thus, opportunities abound with the formal announcement of the new implementation date. With 14 months to go, we must keep moving forward in a new direction with the new coding system in sight. In order to stay up to date on governmental activities and information about ICD-10 from HHS/CMS, please be sure to go online to

Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.
Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCDS, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

Gloryanne is a coding and HIM professional with 40 years of experience. She is the past president of the California Health Information Association. Gloryanne is a member of the ICD10monitor editor board and is a popular guest on Talk Ten Tuesdays.

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