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Thread: How do you prepare?

  1. #1

    Default How do you prepare?

    AAPC: Back to School
    I was wondering when Oct 1 and Jan 1 roll around each year, how do you and your practice prepare for the ICD9 and CPT changes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Charleston, South Carolina



    I would be glad to talk with you about this. I have/had a system that I used each year. It involves a couple of things. If you would email me privately, I am glad to give you my phone number and talk with you.


  3. #3


    Here is our process:

    1. Take a webinar related specifically to coding changes for the new year.
    2. Review the code changes in the front of the new book as soon as I get it.
    3. Compile a list of code changes that will be important for our specialty (all new codes/changes don't always apply to every office)
    4. Distribute the new list & coding books to staff and advise them of the effective date
    5. Distribute the new list to the Doctors so that they know what new codes are out there so they can be more specific in their documentation.
    6. Make changes in the system as close to the effective date as possible (day of is best)

    Some lucky ducks have a software company that updates these things in the system for you (hopefully us next year... we are finally getting that EMR!! ) but you still have to educate the staff about changes and when those changes take effect.

    For example: This year the new MRSA and MSSA codes were big for us (pediatrics) I had to educate staff in the difference between 038.11, 038.12, 041.11, 041.12, V02.53, V02.54 & V12.04 and the appropriate usage of these codes... I also had to educate the physicians that these codes have been created so that they know to be more specific when documenting.

    The best advice I can give would be to take a step back and take a deep breath (don't panic). If you look at your office flow you will be able to formulate a plan that will work for you. Then just implement it one step at a time.

    I'd love to hear how everyone else does this too... I've only been doing this a couple of years as a manager and I pretty much had to figure it out for myself because no one was bothering with it when I started working here. (the coding books we had were 2 years old!) I'm always open to suggestions too.
    Barbara Haskins CPC

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