How to prepare for ICD-10 testing

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

ICD-10 testing will be more complicated than sending medical claims to healthcare payers and asking, "How's that?".

[See also: What's going to happen during ICD-10 end-to-end testing]

There are some best practices that can make or break your ICD-10 transition:

  • Documentation: Include the clinical documentation that supports your test ICD-10 codes. This  is not just medical notes. Needed information may be found in lab reports and other test results.
  • Real medical records: Test the types of cases you actually will be treating and submitting for reimbursement. This is the best way to judge the impact of ICD-10 implementation on a practice. Don't just test scenarios that match healthcare payers' mappings.
  • Dual coding: This can be expensive and time consuming but it will expose any problems with new equipment and systems, create test data that can be used and give your staff valuable practice.
  • Quality assurance: The plan needs to track internal testing, testing of transactions with multiple trading partners, the testing schedule and testing results.
  • Trading partners: Develop testing plans with mission critical vendors and payers that includes:
    • Contacts who can answer questions and a communication process to work through issues
    • Schedules
    • Number of test files that can be sent for each transaction (Multiple test files for each transaction allows any errors encountered to be resolved and verify they are corrected.)
    • A copy of the partner's test plan

[See also: How medical practices can prepare for ICD-10 testing]


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has ICD-10 testing checklists for: