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Medical Billing and Coding: Get Prepared for the Move from ICD-9 to ICD-10

As a medical billing professional, you will need to know about the move from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The ninth edition of the ICD classification is ICD-9, which the U.S. has used since 1979. But ICD-10 IS coming. All healthcare providers are obligated to be ICD-10 ready by October 1, 2014. (This may be delayed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, but providers are advised to continue preparation.)

The ICD-10 codes will result in more specific data, which in turn will assist WHO in its effort to identify viral mutations and other health threats that may affect people all over the world.

Because getting everyone the world over ready for the change is such a gargantuan task, ICD-10 is being implemented in phases:

  • Phase 1: Develop an implementation plan and identify the potential impact on various office operations

  • Phase 2: Implement preparation, working with software vendors and clearinghouses to ensure compatibility

  • Phase 3: Go live with 5010 platform in preparation for ICD-10 file transfer

  • Phase 4: Address and correct deficiencies identified in Phase 3

Educators and companies that publish coding materials have been working for several years to prepare coders like you for the transition. The AAPC (formerly the American Academy of Professional Coders) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) have sponsored and will continue to sponsor workshops to assist coders in this process. Be sure to check out these workshops. Both organizations will also implement an ICD-10 certification testing process.

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