CMS: Government shutdown won’t jeopardize ICD-10 transition
However, uncertainty surrounds ICD-10 Coordination Center, ombudsman
While officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could not say definitively on a media call Thursday what the status of the agency’s new ICD-10 Coordination Center and its ombudsman would be in the event of a government shutdown on Oct. 1, they did maintain that the transition itself will go on as planned.
Agencies, including CMS, are in the process of reviewing contingency plans in case Congress can’t come to a budget agreement, according to FierceGovernment. But CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Patrick Conway and William Rogers, the agency’s new ICD-10 ombudsman, said it was yet to be determined how critical the coordination center and the ombudsman position would be to the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
“We just don’t know, honestly,” Rogers said. “There are different legal issues that have to be considered about what are emergency operations and what aren’t. People who aren’t in this room are deciding what we can legally do and what we can’t do in case of a shutdown in terms of staffing here at CMS.”
Despite that uncertainty, Conway assured members of the media that provider claims would not be jeopardized if the government shuts down. CMS, he said, has the staffing flexibility to ensure “core operations” will remain in full effect.
“In the event of a shutdown, we will continue–and I want to be clear on this–to pay claims, to implement the ICD-10 transition,” Conway said.
In terms of updates on the transition after Oct. 1, Conway said CMS will monitor the transition in as close to real-time as possible, but added it likely would be a few weeks before the agency could offer a full review of those efforts.
“Medicare claims take several days to be processed, and can take approximately two weeks. Medicaid claims can take up to 30 days to be submitted and processed. For this reason, we expect to have more detailed information after a full billing cycle is complete,” he said. “We would, of course, communicate transparently with our various stakeholders about how the transition has progressed.”
SOURCE: Fierce Health IT | By Dan Bowman
September 24, 2015