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Prepare for the icd-10 changes
Start preparing as soon as possible
What is the least expensive and most logical approach to the ICD-10 implementation mandated by HIPPA? There are currently 17,000 ICD-9 codes that will convert to over 155,000 ICD-10 codes and unfortunately you are going to have to learn how to code for diagnosis all over again. None of the definitions of the characters are going to remain the same. What was a 3-5 digit code will now be a 5-7 digit code. Not only will the definition of the codes change but, also will practices for using them. One code in some instances will convert into over two-hundred codes. Also currently ICD-9 codes allow you to use the same diagnosis code on the second visit as you do the first but, with ICD-10 codes you can not.
In addition, even the forms you use will need to be altered and you will need to understand which forms to use with which claims. Prior to the October 2013 deadline computer modifications will need to be made.
Many coders are concerned that if they do not become proficient with the new codes they will become obsolete with the ICD-9 codes. It is important to take it upon yourself to begin immediate education to learn ICD-10 codes and practices that pertain. Ingenix is one of the companies that offers books that will be fairly inexpensive to purchase while allowing you to relearn diagnosis coding in you leisure. If your budjet allows, today many online courses are offered. Most courses allow you to work at your own pace. Starting early will make being a student much less taxing.
In comparison It costs at least $500 to take a class at a traditional college and you would also be obligated to purchase text books. In addition to the costs people are as concerned about the time obligation. They envision having to work, then rushing directly to class, and finally when they are able to go home they will need to study. Therefore, since the codes take so long to digest,it is pertinent to start educating yourself immediately. This would allow you to digest the codes in your leisure by starting to study now for a hour or two at a time on a regular basis.
The Ingenix books I mentioned will teach you to code with easy to follow charts that explain the definition of each character, and they go as far as having worksheets in the back of the book to practice. You will also find a chart that Ingenix calls a map, it is the perfect tool to use to make yourself and coworkers a cheat sheet, you can write what the code was as ICD-9 and then clarify what it will translate to as a ICD-10. The books will also include the governments latest copy of the ICD-10 Coding draft. Below you will find links to many medical coding resources that you may also find suit your needs.
This would also be a great time to consider thinking about upgrading to software that will translate the ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes. Ingenix also has The Encoder Pro software will not only translate the ICD-10 for you but, has a compliance check on it, so you will know if your claim will be accepted before you submit it. It comes in several different prices and versions to suit all sizes of office.