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Countdown to ICD-10: The Clock is Winning

Countdown to ICD-10: The Clock is Winning


The Compliance deadline for ICD-10 implementation is less than six months away. As the Healthcare Industry enters the final phase of implementation and prepares for the “Big Change” of ICD-10, MDHHS is also in preparation for a successful ICD-10 transition for providers. The entire Industry has been preparing for the coding change with an imminent implementation date of October 1st, 2015.

ICD-10, which will replace ICD-9 code sets and update ICD-9 terminology, consists of two parts:

(1) ICD- 10-CM for diagnosis coding for all claims, and

(2) ICD-10-PCS for procedure coding on inpatient hospital claims. For the past several years, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been updating its systems, processes, policies and procedures in preparation for processing provider ICD-10 claims and has completed the necessary tasks to test its systems successfully. Additionally, MDHHS has engaged in active provider outreach and testing to ensure provider readiness. As the Industry braces for the change and moves forward with guarded anticipation of a possible delay, President Barack Obama signed the “Doc Fix” Bill on April 16, 2015 which completely overhauled the current Medicare physician payment system, SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate). This legislation is based on quality and not quantity of patient care and could have posed an opportunity for policymakers to implement another delay for ICD-10. However, this legislation did not impact the progress of the coding change. Therefore, MDHHS is continuing to promote Provider Readiness for an October 1, 2015 implementation. MDHHS is making its final push to assist Providers by offering various educational ICD- 10 resources and training opportunities on its Website –; click ICD-10.


1. Attend one of MDHHS’s Provider Outreach Virtual Seminars:

  • May 7, 2015 10 am or June 4, 2015 10 am
  • Register Early on our Website:
    • Click Medicaid Provider Training Sessions in “Hot Topics”

2. Participate in Provider Outreach’s Monthly ICD-10 Open Forums

  • Summer 2015: Dates TBD
  • Check MDHHS training website regularly for dates and times

3. Participate in Provider Testing with MDHHS: It is the only way to test your systems and know if your claims will adjudicate. Go to MDHHS Website at – Click the ICD-10 Button, click Testing in MDCH Links for the following testing opportunities:

  • B2B Testing
  • Outpatient Scenario-Based Testing
  • Inpatient DRG Comparative Testing

4. Visit our Website regularly for ICD-10 Resources:

  • ICD-10 Webcasts:
    • Provider Outreach Development Course
    • Clinical Documentation and More
  • ICD-10 FAQs and Helpful ICD-10 Resource Documents
  • General Equivalence Maps (GEMs): GEM Viewer
  • Other Helpful Links


1. Check CMS Timelines and Checklists for your Organization to ensure readiness at :

  • ICD-10 Training of Staff and Physicians in Clinical Documentation exercises and Medical Terminology should be well underway:
    • Ensure that you Clinical Documentation can support the new ICD-10 Codes
  • Conduct Dual Coding:
    • Take a patient’s chart and code it in ICD-10 and note the time that it takes to turn it into a claim
    • Evaluate all the systems and personnel that are impacted by the claim
    • Make necessary adjustments accordingly based on findings of ICD-10 impact assessment for that claim (training, system                                                        upgrades, forms, etc.)
    • Dual coding can assist in measuring the impact of ICD-10 productivity while helping apply a standard measure of coding                                                       application
  • ICD-10 Testing should be in full swing:
    • B2B Testing: Check with your Billing Vendor to assess their readiness if you do not conduct your own billing within your                                                      organization
    • Scenario Based Testing: ICD-10 Assessment of Staff knowledge

2. Review the ICD-10 CM and ICD-10 PCS Official Coding Guidelines and 2015 ICD-10 Coding Gems at

3. Review CMS’s ICD-10 Resource: “Road to ICD-10” @


1. Potential ICD-10 Misinterpretation Issues

  • Codes beginning with ‘0’ (zero) in ICD-9 fall under the chapter for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
  • Codes beginning with ‘O’ codes in ICD-10 fall under the chapter for Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Puerperium period.
  • Misinterpreting handwritten information (2s for Zs or 0s (zeros) for Os could cause confusion as to which system (ICD-9 or ICD-10) the code       should be billed under.

2. Addition of the 7th Character in ICD-10

  • The 7th character is used in certain chapters (e.g., Obstetrics, Injury, Musculoskeletal, and External Cause chapters)
  • The 7th character has a different meaning depending on which section it is being used
  • It must always be used in the 7th position
  • When 7th character applies, codes missing the 7th character are invalid

3. Download the ICD-10 Official Draft Coding Set from CMS’s Website



To help dispel some of the myths surrounding ICD-10, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently talked with providers to identify common misperceptions about the transition to ICD-10. These five facts address some of the common questions and concerns CMS has heard about ICD-10:

1. The ICD-10 transition date is October 1, 2015. The government, payers, and large providers alike have made a substantial investment in ICD-10. This cost will rise if the transition is delayed, and further ICD-10 delays will lead to an unnecessary rise in health care costs. Get ready now for ICD-10.

2. You don’t have to use 68,000 codes. Your practice does not use all 13,000 diagnosis codes available in ICD-9. Nor will it be required to use the 68,000 codes that ICD-10 offers. As you do now, your practice will use a very small subset of the codes.

3. You will use a similar process to look up ICD-10 codes that you use with ICD-9. Increasing the number of diagnosis codes does not necessarily make ICD-10 harder to use. As with ICD-9, an alphabetic index and electronic tools are available to help you with code selection.

4. Outpatient and office procedure codes aren’t changing. The transition to ICD-10 for diagnosis coding and inpatient procedure coding does not affect the use of CPT for outpatient and office coding. Your practice will continue to use CPT.

5. All Medicare fee-for-service providers have the opportunity to conduct testing with CMS before the ICD-10 transition. Your practice or clearinghouse can conduct acknowledgement testing at any time with your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). Testing will ensure you can submit claims with ICD-10 codes. During a special “acknowledgement testing” week to be held in June 2015, you will have access to real-time help desk support. Contact your MAC for details about testing plans and opportunities.


Contact us by email:

  • MDHHS ICD-10 Provider Outreach:
  • MDHHS Provider Testing:



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