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Thread: HARD COPY ICD-9 & CPT BOOKS vs. Online resources

  1. #1

    Default HARD COPY ICD-9 & CPT BOOKS vs. Online resources

    AAPC: Back to School
    Do you need your hard copy ICD-9 & CPT books or are you happy with the reference on your encoder alone?

    Our manager feels we do NOT need our hardcopy books and is sending them back. I use these and look at them when I receive an order with an incorrect or old code.

    I would appreciate some opinions on this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Louisville, KY


    Depending on what encoder product(s) you're using, sending those books back could be a HUGE mistake. Since the vendors usually have a clause somewhere that says (summary), "we cannot be held accountable for the accuracy of this information," it might be a good idea to hold onto the books. You have no way of knowing whether the electronic tool is perhaps leading you to inappropriate codes without using a manual.

    As has been pointed out to me, encoders are tools/instruments to assist coders in locating codes; they do not replace manuals...
    Kevin B. Shields, RHIT, CPCO, CCS, CPC, COC, CCS-P, CPC-P, CPC-I

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    San Diego



    Oh my gosh! Coding with no hardcopy manuals would be awful, difficult, inaccurate, ..... I refer to mine all the time. They are dog-eared, highlighted, annotated, etc. You should see the books I used for my exam - they've got tons of "good stuff" jotted down in them. I would say your manager is completely wrong on this.

    Good Luck!
    Sylvia Thompson, CPC
    Billing Supervisor
    San Diego, CA

  4. #4


    Thank you for the replies. We use the 3M encoder but I find it sometimes incomplete. To me it seems that using both the encoder and hard copy is best.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I use the Ingenix encoder and there are many times that I know that there is a code for something, cant remember the code, nor can I find it through encoder and have to resort to the books. I beleive the books are a much needed resource!!! Another thing...I dont know if yours is internet based, but mine is and if the internet goes down or the website...I have to be able to continue working and the books come in handy!!

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