Road Map to ICD-10-CM

Next Stop, the AAPC Training Plan

By Deborah Grider, CPC, CPC-I, CPC-H, CPC-P, COBGC, CEMC, CCS-P

ICD-10 is here—the wait is over. Now is the reality of navigating you toward a smooth transition from
ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. Moving forward on your journey using the ICD-10-CM roadmap, this destination focuses on the ICD-10-CM Training Plan currently in development at the AAPC. We will return to reviewing the Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting ICD-10-CM in a later issue. Before discussing the training plan, let’s clarify what the implementation date means to you.

Final Rule

The final rule published Jan. 16 pushed back the proposed Oct. 1, 2012 implementation date to Oct. 1, 2013. This later date accounts for the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics’ (NCVHS) recommendation that ICD-10 and the 5010 final rule should not be implemented when both transitions are in the internal testing phase. The new date provides time for the industry to complete the testing phases. Although this timeline may not be ideal for implementation, the additional year will help all medical-entities, including physicians, hospitals, health plans, and others prepare.

The 5010 final rule goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012. The 5010 final rule adopts certain electronic health care transactions standards, which will promote greater electronic transactions usage. Version 5010 is essential to using ICD-10 codes, as the current 4010 version cannot accommodate the expanded ICD-10 code sets.

Don’t Panic—Start Planning

2013 may seem a long way ahead but, frankly, we have little time to prepare. AAPC has an implementation plan in development right now. Many duties you will need to take on over the next two years involve planning, budgeting, system conversions, and testing. However, it is not necessary to jump quickly into training ICD-10-CM guidelines and the code sets because three to four years is a long time to retain this knowledge. Be wary of other organizations creating panic and jumping into training prematurely. Understanding the implementation steps is the training you need right now; you should begin ICD-10 code set training in a couple of years.

Physician and Coder Training

A comprehensive, intensive training is currently being developed for 2009. Training will be divided between the health plans/payer and provider, including the outpatient facility coders. This spring, the AAPC will outline the implementation benchmarks and provide an ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS audio conference with implementation suggestions and guidance.

Distance learning modules will be available starting in the fall. Several audio conferences on general ICD-10 topics will begin broadcasting in the summer and fall as well.

In 2010, half-day ICD-10 workshops and phase one of the ICD-10-CM curriculum will be introduced. Phase one is a three-day intensive training on ICD-10 implementation and general issues such as guidelines and ICD-10-CM structure. Distance learning modules on ICD-10 will be introduced. The 2010 AAPC National Conference will also include ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS training sessions to benefit all health care professionals, including physicians, coders, and health plans.

In January 2011, the AAPC will unveil phase II training which will be a specialty driven, intensive training to get ready for ICD-10. Specialty-specific distance learning modules, half day workshops, audio conferences, and training sessions at the 2011 AAPC National Conference will be available.

Payer Training

A comprehensive payer curriculum is in development and on-site training at health plan facilities will begin in January 2010. The curriculum will be intensive and last three to four days. Half-day workshops regarding the health plan implementation process will also be available at that time. Audio conferences will begin in February 2010. In the spring, distance learning modules will be available to all health plans on topics relative to payer ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS implementation. You will also find training sessions specific to payer implementation offered at the 2010 AAPC National Conference.

ICD-10-CM or ICD-10-PCS code set training will continue in 2012 and beyond. Half-day workshops, distance learning, audio conferences, comprehensive curriculums for health plans and providers, and sessions at AAPC National Conferences will be available to all.

Proficiency Training

It is important for all certified coders to have adequate education and training and demonstrate proficiency in the new code set. Eight regional conferences across the country will be dedicated to ICD-10 training. Sessions will be available for all specialties, facility coders, physician coders, and payers. Member proficiency testing will begin Oct. 1, 2012 and conclude Oct. 1, 2014. Members will have one year following training to take the examination. More information will be available later regarding the ICD-10 proficiency testing.

Take the First Step

The AAPC will keep you informed and updated every step of the way.

Right now, take the first step: Talk to your providers, facilities, or organization about ICD-10. Let everyone know this will take a tremendous amount of resources to migrate with a smooth transition. Read everything you can on the ICD-10 transition; and review the final rule and updated code set and mapping files located at Form a committee or appoint a person to take the lead and guide your organization’s efforts toward ICD-10 implementation. Watch for more information on the AAPC Web site, in Coding Edge, and in EdgeBlast regarding ICD-10 learning opportunities. Remember: We are all in this together.

Deborah Grider, CPC, CPC-I, CPC-H, CPC-P, COBGC, CEMC, CCS-P, is the president of the AAPC’s National Advisory Board. She is also writing the ICD-10-CM Implementation Guide, which will be released in 2009.


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