ICD-10 updates for LCDs, articles due by April 10, 2014

September 10th, 2013 - Scott Kraft   
Categories:   Diagnosis Coding   Medicare  

Take out your ICD-10 implementation plan and write down the date of April 10, 2014. That’s the day that CMS has instructed its Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to publish all of the updated local coverage determinations (LCDs) that need to have ICD-10-CM codes replace ICD-9 codes. Any accompanying articles are also supposed to be updated by that date.

The deadline is being set in April to give you sufficient time to update your payment systems to accommodate the new codes. One thing to think about doing to get ready is to isolate the LCDs for the codes your practice uses most often. 

We’ve all learned over the years that setting a deadline and meeting a deadline are two different things. CMS didn’t give them interim deadlines, so it’s entirely possible you could get hit with a slew of new LCDs to review starting on April 10. The change is detailed in a CMS transmittal released on September 6, which we’ve attached to this story. 

CMS directs that all LCDs and articles be renumbered as part of this change, so even those without ICD-10 codes will need to be updated, though the MACs have until Sept. 4 for that set to be published. CMS warns the MACs that they may need to update Medicare Summary Notices to reflect the new LCD identification numbers in the event you need to find them. 

Finally, when the only change the MAC is making to the LCD and/or article is to replace the relevant ICD-9 codes with the ICD-10 codes, the LCD and article do not need to be reviewed by the Carrier Advisory Committee nor be submitted for public comment because these are considered coding changes that don’t alter the intent of the policy when it comes to coverage or non-coverage, CMS states. 

Should the MAC decide to make any other changes, however, the LCD would be subject to CAC and public review.

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