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ICD-10-CM presents an entirely new process for correctly selecting diagnosis codes.

CMS has confirmed that Oct. 1, 2015 is the new implementation date for ICD-10-CM.

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Physician practices have an extra year to prepare for the biggest change to coding in 30 years: the implementation of the ICD-10-CM code set. ICD-10 now takes effect Oct. 1, 2015. Congress passed a one-year delay on implementation as part of H.R. 4302, which delayed a 24 percent Medicare pay cut until 2015. With ICD-10, the health care system moves from ICD-9’s 14,500-code set to nearly 70,000 codes. Most individual codes are also longer: ICD-10 codes are three to seven characters, vs. ICD-9’s three to five.

To help your practice switch to ICD-10 successfully, the Academy and the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE) have developed a number of resources to guide you through the transition, including a new ophthalmology-specific ICD-10 book and several courses. The Academy will also provide emails, reminders and other announcements and resources throughout the year to walk you through the transition.

Failure to convert to ICD-10 could jeopardize almost all of your practice's payments, as commercial and federal payers will deny all ICD-9 claims.

What you need to know

What to do

  • Start by contacting your vendors: practice management and/or EHR systems, clearinghouses or billing services, and all the health plans you contract with. Ask about their plans for ICD-10 conversion and compliance. AAOE has prepared a guide for discussing ICD-10 with vendors.
  • Develop an education plan for you and your staff.

CMS to Provide Three Opportunities for ICD-10 Testing

Federal officials have announced three periods when providers can participate in end-to-end ICD-10 testing. All providers must transition from ICD-9 to the new coding system by Oct. 1, 2015. End-to-end tests will take place:

  • Nov. 17-21, 2014
  • March 2-6, 2015
  • June 1-5, 2015

The Academy encourages members to participate in testing to learn how the new codes work with their office accounting, billing and electronic health record systems. The tests also provide a chance to ensure their billing staff is familiar with ICD-10. Medicare administrative contractors will provide more specific instructions in the coming weeks. All physicians covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act must switch to ICD-10 by Oct. 1, 2015. Practices should use ICD-9 codes through Sept. 30, 2015, while continuing to prepare for the transition. Failure to convert to ICD-10 by the deadline could jeopardize almost all of a practice’s payments.

Resource List

Get Your Staff Ready for ICD-10 

Live events and print/online products

AAOE has everything you and your practice need to successfully transition to ICD-10.

Live events

CODEquest 2015
Physicians and staff must learn the new terminology and guidelines for usage for ICD-10. Stay up-to-date with the constantly changing landscape of coding and documentation rules and prepare for ICD-10 implementation during this four-hour, ophthalmology-specific coding seminar. State ophthalmological societies are partnering with the Academy and AAOE to bring ophthalmology’s most popular coding seminar to a city near you.*


Print and online products

2014 ICD-10-CM for Ophthalmology (#0120343)
The only specialty specific book written for ophthalmology by an ophthalmologist. Gordon E. Johns, MD extrapolates from the master data files all diagnosis codes pertaining to ophthalmic care. Includes a quick reference guide that shows frequently reported ICD-9 codes converted to ICD-10 codes. Order at

Conquering ICD-10-CM: Your “How-To” Guide for Ophthalmology (#0120345)
A companion to the ICD-10-CM for Ophthalmology reference book, this work book includes coding and ICD-10 scenarios across all subspecialties. Order at

Online Course: 90 Minutes to Conquering ICD-10-CM for Ophthalmology
This 90-minute interactive course helps you smoothly and successfully transition to ICD-10. It shows you how to select new ICD-10 codes correctly every time. Order at

*State societies that have partnered with the Academy and AAOE are listed below:
  • Alabama Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Arkansas Ophthalmological Society
  • California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • Colorado Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • Florida Society of Ophthalmology
  • Georgia Society of Ophthalmology
  • Maryland Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Montana Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • New Hampshire Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • New Jersey Academy of Ophthalmology
  • North Carolina Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology
  • South Carolina Society of Ophthalmology
  • Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Texas Ophthalmological Association
  • Utah Ophthalmology Society
  • Virginia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons

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