Change Your Brain for ICD-10

Make learning fun and tab up your books for easy code look up.

By Brenda Edwards, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC

Your brain may be programmed like mine. I see ICD-9-CM codes everywhere I look: license plates, addresses … anything numeric. I talk in code to my coding friends. I have a friend who put ICD-9-CM codes on wrapped Christmas presents instead of nametags. That’s my kind of thing! But as I began learning ICD-10-CM, I had to reprogram my thought process for locating codes in the tabular section. You can, too. Here’s how to do it.

Become Familiar with ICD-10-CM’s Layout

To find a code in ICD-10-CM, begin by looking for the main term in the alphabetic index. Then, verify the accuracy of the code in the tabular index (this may be difficult until you’re familiar with the layout). Your code search is not complete until you’ve checked the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting for any further guidance.

Tab It Up to Correspond to ICD-9-CM

Because I am a visual learner and a “tabber,” I figured out the best hands-on way for me to convert to this new code set. I couldn’t wait to get that new codebook and start tabbing it up! The answer for me was to tab my ICD-10-CM book as if it were the ICD-9-CM book. I appended a tab with the ICD-9-CM category and word to the appropriate ICD-10-CM tabular section of the book, as follows.

ICD-9-CM Tab ICD-10-CM Tabular Section
001-139 Infectious Certain Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
140-239 Neoplasm Neoplasms
280-289 Blood Diseases of Blood and Blood-forming Organs
240-279 Endo Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases
320-389 Nervous Diseases of Nervous System
390-459 Circulatory Diseases of Circulatory System
460-519 Respiratory Diseases of Respiratory System
520-579 GI Diseases of Digestive System
680-709 Skin Diseases of Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue
710-739 Musculo Diseases of Musculoskeletal System and Connective Tissue
580-629 GU Diseases of Genitourinary System
630-679 OB/GYN Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Puerperium
760-779 Newborn Certain Conditions Originating in the Perinatal Period
740-759 Congenital Congenital Malformations, Deformations and Chromosomal Abnormalities
780-799 Signs & Symptoms Symptoms, Signs and Abnormal Clinical and Laboratory Findings
800-999 Injuries Injury, Poisoning and Other Consequences of External Causes

 

Convert Your Tabs to ICD-10-CM

After I became familiar with locating the section in the tabular index with ICD-9-CM codes, I changed my tabs over to ICD-10-CM codes. This time, I made a tab for each section in the tabular list, including the new chapters for Eyes, Ears, External Causes of Morbidity, and Factors Influencing Health Status and Contact with Health Services.

I know what you are thinking, “External Causes of Morbidity and Factors Influencing Health Status and Contact with Health Services are not new in ICD-10-CM.” Technically you are correct; however, the E and V codes found in ICD-9-CM were considered an optional part of the code set. In ICD-10-CM, these chapters are no longer optional; they are a part of the code set.

ICD-10-CM Tab ICD-10-CM Tabular Section
A00-B99 Infectious Certain Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
C00-D49 Neoplasm Neoplasms
D50-D89 Blood Diseases of Blood and Blood-forming Organs
E00-E89 Endo Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases
F01-F99 Mental Mental and Behavioral Disorders
G00-G99 Nervous Diseases of Nervous System
H00-H59 Eye/Adnex Diseases of Eye and Adnexa
H60-H95 Ear Diseases of Ear and Mastoid Process
I00-I99 Circulatory Diseases of Circulatory System
J00-J99 Respiratory Diseases of Respiratory System
K00-K94 GI Diseases of Digestive System
L00-L99 Skin Diseases of Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue
M00-M99 Musculo Diseases of Musculoskeletal System and Connective Tissue
N00-N99 GU Diseases of Genitourinary System
O00-O9a OB/GYN Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Puerperium
P05-P96 Newborn Certain Conditions Originating in the Perinatal Period
Q00-Q99 Congenital Congenital Malformations, Deformations and Chromosomal Abnormalities
R00-R99 Signs & Symptoms Symptoms, Signs and Abnormal Clinical and Laboratory Findings
S00-T88 Injuries Injury, Poisoning and Other Consequences of External Causes
V00-V99 Accidents
W00-W99 Falls, Exposure, Drowning
X00-Y90 Explosive, Assault
Y92-Y99 Activity Place and Activity
Z00-Z99 V codes V Codes

 

Customize Your Learning

There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to transitioning to ICD-10-CM. Evaluate your learning style and do what makes the most sense to you. I’m excited because the ICD-10-CM code set is alphanumeric … I’ll still be able to read codes in license plates!

Brenda Edwards, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC, is coding and compliance specialist at Kansas Medical Mutual Insurance Company (KaMMCO). She has been involved in many aspects of coding and billing since entering the profession more than 25 years ago. Her responsibilities at KaMMCO include chart auditing, coding and compliance education, and contributing articles to the company’s website and publication. Edwards served on the AAPC Chapter Association board of directors from 2010-2014 and held office as chair. Edwards is an ICD-10 trainer, AAPC workshop presenter, and a frequent speaker for local chapters and AAPC regional conferences. She is co-founder of the northeast Kansas local chapter and has served in many officer positions.

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Renee Dustman

Renee Dustman

Renee Dustman is executive editor at AAPC. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and a long history of writing just about anything for just about every kind of publication there is or ever has been. She’s also worked in production management for print media, and continues to dabble in graphic design.
Renee Dustman

About Has 425 Posts

Renee Dustman is executive editor at AAPC. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and a long history of writing just about anything for just about every kind of publication there is or ever has been. She’s also worked in production management for print media, and continues to dabble in graphic design.

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