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.

Brad Ericson
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About Has 361 Posts

Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, is a seasoned healthcare writer and editor. He directed publishing at AAPC for nearly 12 years and worked at Ingenix for 13 years and Aetna Health Plans prior to that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.

No Responses to “Don't Let Go of ICD-9-CM Just Yet”

  1. Deborah Wright-Lapora says:

    Do I need to be ICD-9 certified first in order to take AAPC ICD-10 online go at your own speed proficiency exam? When does the CPC exam include the new ICD-10 codes, is it January 2015?
    Deb Lapora

  2. D. Foster says:

    I think being familiar with i-9 will make it easier to grasp i-10 concepts.
    However for persons just starting to code, they should concentrate on i-10 and make reference and comparison to i-9. I do not think i-9 will disappear over night.

  3. Karen says:

    I have taken the ICD 9 CM classes but have not taken the registration test. Can I still take the ICD 9 test? I also still have the 2013 Coding books, it is alright to use those for testing?

  4. Jamie says:

    I have been trying to find out when ICD 10 will begin showing up on Certification exams. I still need to take mine and don’t want to take one with ICD 10 on it. Could anyone give me a cut off date?

  5. Pam says:

    I have recently been told that I-10 will be testing starting in January of 2015. To the best of my knowledge, from AAPC, that is my understanding.

  6. Michele P says:

    Yes, they are now available on the AAPC website and are offering huge discounts for the month of February. Good Luck!!!

  7. Michele P says:

    Correction to above comment. The CPC Certification online learning now includes the ICD10. You may also take your proficiency test now 2014, which is 60.00, two try’s, open book, online, 75 questioned and un-proctored. The online learning for ICD10, the exam that is included is 150 questions.

  8. Vicky Alejos says:

    I want to take my ICD9 exam before the end of 2015, but I want to know, how much time to I have to take the ICD 10 exam once certified for ICD 9?