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' e-mail address is [email protected]. 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 e-mail the ICD-10 coordination center at [email protected].
Those expected to be hardest hit by ICD-10 are small practices with outdated technology.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.