3 Critical ICD-10 Questions Answered

the key differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10 that could impact a successful migration to ICD-10

On January 29, 2013 we hosted a webinar with HCPro’s Senior Regulatory Specialist, Jennifer Avery, CCS, CPC-H, CPC, CPC-I. In the webinar, she discussed the key differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10 that could impact a successful migration to ICD-10.

The presentation also highlighted the education needed for your clinical staff, CDIS, billers, and coders to ensure they understand the changes and their role in the conversion – bringing your organization closer to the goal of a smooth transition.

View the recorded presentation in our archived Webinar Library.

During the questions and answer time at the end of the presentation, there were many questions addressed. Here are the top three questions for all providers and health plans to understand while planning for the ICD-10 transition.

1. We know the AMA is a powerful lobby and has already affected the implementation date once. I understand the AMA is actively pursuing a delay or even cancellation of ICD-10 implementation. Do you think they will be able to affect the date again?

“I hope not, but right now it is out there that AMA is trying to push off implementation by another couple of years – or not implement at all. I hope there are enough of us opposed to this and we can strong arm them right back. We are way behind in our processes and we have out-grown the current system. We cannot ignore the problem.”

2. To what extent do you expect Computer Assisted Coding Systems (CACS) to impact ICD-10 transition?

“Whether good or bad computer-assisted coding will have a major impact on coding and how coders are utilized in the future, especially with ICD-10 transition. The versions of CAC actually make me feel more secure as a coder as I have not found one yet that I think will actually ‘replace’ coders- it will just change how we are utilized. We may actually be doing a lot more ‘clean-up’ after the computer assigns the codes as it cannot replace the coder’s logic.”

3. Before ICD-10, do I need to be certified on ICD-9? If so, what online courses are available?

“I always think it’s a good idea to become ‘certified’ if you are involved in any aspect of coding. If you are proficient in ICD-9 and not currently certified – you may want to go ahead and set for the exam prior to the changes.”

“Then you would be required (depending on organization you get certified through) to either sit for a proficiency exam (AAPC) or get CEUs in ICD-10 (AHIMA). As for the education component to prepare for certification – there are several organizations out there that have various online products and some are dependent on whether you plan to focus on the inpatient, outpatient world, or both.”

“I definitely would encourage you to pick based on reputation and endorsements and not on price, as some promise to give you everything for a small fee – but fall short on content and we have seen a number of students go through other vendors only to be forced to spend additional money with a more reputable training company to gain the knowledge/skills they need.”