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ICD-10 Prep Timing is Crucial

Greg Freeman, February 6, 2014

Online training can be a good option because staff can complete it at their own pace and when they have time in the office, rather than having to set aside work time for training, says Michele Hibbert-Iacobacci, vice president of information management and support at Mitchell International, a consulting and software service provider in San Diego. Specialty practices should target training to the ICD-10 code sets they use most rather than trying to ensure staff know the entire code set, she says.

"If you're in an obstetrics office, you're probably not that interested in coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and that's okay," she says. "It is a mistake to go into this thinking that just because ICD-10 comes with thousands of new codes for everything imaginable, that your staff has to learn all those or you're not ready for the transition. You should be aiming for parity, for the ability to accurately code the same treatment that your practice has already provided."

Coding for the same treatment will still mean coding in a more detailed way with new codes, but learning that is a much easier task than learning all of ICD-10. That is an important point to make when preparing staff for ICD-10 education, Hibbert-Iacobacci says. They may have heard about the huge number of codes in ICD-10 and feel intimidated by the challenge of learning them all, she says.

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