The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has signed on to a letter along with other state medical and specialty societies and the AMA urging Congressional leadership to mitigate the impact of the ICD-10 transition by implementing a transition period. During this ‘grace period’ physicians would not be penalized for coding errors and system malfunctions. As learned from previous and significantly less complex claim processing changes, unanticipated problems can occur. Implementing a transition period would simply allow physicians a learning period, whereby contractors could identify common errors, provide feedback, and resolve system problems without resorting to claim denials.
Physicians at the 2015 AMA Annual Meeting passed policy calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) not to withhold claim payments based on coding errors, mistakes or malfunctions in the system for two years directly following implementation. Read more about the AMA’s policy.
Meanwhile, Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., introduced the Protecting Patients and Physicians Against Coding Act, which aims to provide a two-year grace period during the transition.
As noted in the last Bulletin, you may contact your representatives to encourage them to adopt the grace period legislation through the AMA Physicians Grassroots Network.