ICD-10: Move Forward without Fear

Fear often spreads like influenza, and fear continues to hamper ICD-10 education. But using creative approaches can usually cure the fear that prevents acceptance.

For example, I went to a large medical group, last month, for a physician ICD-10 training session. I had visited other locations in this group through the year, and they are actively moving forward with ICD-10 training.

The group’s physicians were a little resistant about the new code set, and many were put off by the large number of codes. I found a lot of the physicians’ “doom and gloom” resulted from what they had heard from others, or read.

The hesitancy went away when we began looking at the actual code set and its many similarities to ICD-9-CM. The more examples we went through, the easier it became. We went through the concepts, not the codes, and the providers began to realize that the number of codes doesn’t matter.

The physician champions of the group challenged each other as to who could get the code first, when we did exercises. They discussed ways in which they could take the education they were receiving and convey it to the other providers in the group. They all stated that they had a positive experience learning about the code set, documentation concepts, and coding itself.

I received many messages after the training thanking me for helping allay some of the nervousness and demonstrating how straightforward the concepts are in regards to ICD-10.

When working with providers, I find that most of them do not care about the actual code itself, but what they need to document to support the code. I always keep in mind when teaching physicians not to overwhelm them with codes, but to break ICD-10 down into documentation concepts. The training most likely will be better received.

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Brad Ericson

Brad Ericson

Publisher at AAPC
Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, has been publisher for more than nine years. Before AAPC he was at Optum for 13 years and at Aetna Health Plans before 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.
Brad Ericson

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Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, has been publisher for more than nine years. Before AAPC he was at Optum for 13 years and at Aetna Health Plans before 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.

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