Welcome to ICD-10

By: Sean Cavanaugh

Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare

Today, the U.S. health care system moves to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision – ICD-10. We’ve tested and retested our systems in anticipation of this day, and we’re ready to accept properly coded ICD-10 claims.

The change to ICD-10 allows you to capture more details about the health status of  your patients and sets the stage for improved patient care and public health surveillance across our country. ICD-10 will help move the nation’s health care system to better, smarter care.

You may wonder when we’ll know how the transition is going. It will take a couple of weeks before we have the full picture of ICD-10 implementation because very few health care providers file claims on the same day a medical service is given. Most providers batch their claims and submit them every few days.

Even after submission, Medicare claims take several days to be processed, and Medicare – by law – must wait two weeks before issuing payment. Medicaid claims can take up to 30 days to be submitted and processed by states. Because of these timeframes, we expect to know more about the transition to ICD-10 after completion of a full billing cycle.

Because we know this is a major transition, we’ll be:

  • Monitoring the transition in real time.
  • Watching our systems.
  • Addressing any issues that come to the ICD-10 Coordination Center.

The Coordination Center is a dedicated group of Medicare, Medicaid, billing, coding, and information technology systems experts drawn from across CMS. They have the full support of the entire CMS staff to address any issues quickly and completely.

It’s important that you know help’s available if you have problems with ICD-10:

This important moment is possible because we’ve all worked together to make it happen. We’re grateful for your support and look forward to working with you as we make this transition.


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