Don't Let Go of ICD-9-CM Just Yet
The advent of ICD-10-CM Oct. 1, 2014 has coders and practices looking askance at their ICD-9-CM books, wondering if continued attention to the 36-year-old code set is warranted. Experts warn, however, that while ICD-9-CM may not be getting the attention, it isn’t going away.
Still the official diagnostic code set until this fall, ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes and guidelines will live long after their successor is adopted, Rhonda Buckholtz, AAPC vice president of ICD-10 Training and Education, says. Not only will claims coded with ICD-9-CM live long after claims are filed thanks to adjudication and post-rejection resubmissions, but the mandate that makes ICD-10-CM the code of the land exempts non-HIPAA covered entities such as auto claims and workers’ compensation payers from the change. While many are converting to the new code set, not all are making the change.
Don’t Postpone Credentialing
Individuals seeking the CPC credential may be asking the question, “Should I wait to obtain certification until after ICD-10-CM has been implemented?” AAPC believes that waiting to certify after Oct. 1, 2014 would prove to be detrimental to the individual desiring certification. The coding concepts learned in ICD-9-CM mirror ICD-10-CM in many instances. Learning ICD-9-CM in advance will only enhance the coder’s ability to embrace ICD-10-CM coding conventions. It will be critical that certified coders have the skills to code accurately in both code sets. Do not delay obtaining coding certification until after October 2014.
So keep your ICD-9-CM books nearby and remain competent, or become competent in ICD-9-CM coding, Buckholtz advises. The chance of needing them again is pretty likely.