CMA Today: What Part Does a Coder Play in ICD-10 Today?

When you’re waiting out a storm a smart idea is to take cover in a basement until the storm has passed. Many physicians think they can follow this approach with ICD-10 implementation in 2013, not so says AAPC expert Julie Leu, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I. This “wait and see” approach likely will cause a lot of heartache and damage to the practice’s bottom line.  Leu suggests a few resources that can help physicians prepare and not have to wait out the storm:

  1. Explore available resources like the MLN (Medicare Learning Network) and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for links, tips, and frequently asked questions.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the new code set. The ICD-10 codes will allow for greater clinical details in describing conditions and a great test for any practice is to take some of your most common codes and using these tools determine the difference ICD-10 will make with that particular code.
  3. Become a “coach” for your providers and see if they are coding specific enough to allow for accuracy with the new set.
  4. Hone all your skills. Be knowledgeable in coding, anatomy, and physiology.
  5. Keep reminding everyone of these changes and help out where you can.

This article is not available online. To read the full version of this article, see CMA Today’s January/February edition p. 26-27.

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