Remote Coder- Industry Updates – Free ICD 10 Resources For 2013

I-Ten Tuesdays with TMI:  Free ICD 10 Resources For 2013

By Holly Cassano, CPC

ICD-10 Countdown – October 1, 2014 –  462 DAYS until Implementation

As the weeks pass and ICD 10 Implementation draws closer, I still find it baffling that there is still an alarming number of  fellow coders/billers/providers who have still not begun preparing for the impending deadline.

It is a major concern, or should be to those who have still not begun any type of preparations for October 1, 2014.   Now is the time for coding professionals and providers to ramp up on I-Ten Preparedness (ITP) as it is literally around the corner!

For Coders, preparation will depend on whether you are AAPC or AHIMA certified or both.  The AAPC’s mandatory exam for all AAPC certified coders and you must pay to sit for it.  It is comprised of 75 multiple choice questions and you are given two opportunities to pass the exam.   AHIMA however, has decided that certified coders credentialed through them, only have to provide CEU’s that reflect adequate training and preparation for ICD 10 readiness.

Whether you are for ICD 10 Implementation or against it, it is irrelevant at this time.  The AMA tried to stop it, but was categorically shot down and so we forge on towards the deadline and being prepared should be everyone’s focus now.

Some recent studies on a Coder’s knowledge base of ICD 10 provided some interesting results.   The study  took place from March 2010 through October 2012 and involved about 800 certified coders, who reviewed what were touted as “Biomedical Sciences.”  

They were broken down into the following four categories:


Of the 800 that participated in the study, only about 500 had their individual results incorporated into the actual study.   The 500  that were included were tested  via a baseline audit and also in an advanced audit in order to show a comparative sample.  The 500 from the core group had either or both AHIMA or AAPC credentialing status and some had advanced degrees.

The core group of 500 produced the following results from the initial baseline skill-set audit: 

Competancy Level: 

  •  Medical Terminology 85%
  •  Anatomy  77%
  •  Pathophysiology  71%
  •  Pharmacology 69%

Pharmacology took  one for the team so to speak, when it came to levels of core competency for all 500 in the core group.  

With that result, there were some recommendations from the three leading ICD 10 resources and not all were in agreement:

AHIMA:  The leaders in HIM and Facility coding suggested that Inpatient and Outpatient coders do the following:

  •  16 hours of code training in ICD 10

AAPC:  Representing the Business Side of Medicine and the leaders in physician office and outpatient coding, suggested the following:

  •  For both outpatient or physician-based settings to focus on ICD-10- CM, include the four core biomedical science groups as a part of their studies

CMS:  The government resource that sets the bar for ICD 10 –  indicated that both CM/PCS, will require a minimum of 50 hours training for inpatient coders in order to have sufficient knowledge to code across ICD 10 PCS/CM .  CMS continues to maintain that certified coding professionals whether via AAPC or AHIMA, should have a core base of the Biomedical Sciences and therefore should assist them with ICD10 implementation and preparedness:

Biomedical Sciences:


Additionally, CMS deemed that for coders to be able to successfully code across ICD 10 PCS/CM,   coders will have to maintain ongoing and up-to-date  knowledge of core coding conventions in the ICD-10 system.

The I-Ten Takeaway:

ICD-10 for the majority of certified coding professionals who have to sit for the AAPC Mandatory exam will be an angst ridden process if  you do NOT PREPARE!  You will basically star in your own version of  “Doomsday Preppers”, if you are unprepared for ICD 10.   As my father always said – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and boy had I listened sooner, I could have avoided a few unwanted pounds along the proverbial buffet line I have called “work.”

  •  Get in the I-Ten Game now and make a plan for preparedness!
  •  Be your own quarterback and run to the end zone now instead of scrambling on the backend trying to recover from a fumble?

Take these suggestions for I-Ten readiness:

 Perform a personal baseline assessment of I-Ten knowlege

  •  Review your knowledge base and identify any areas that you are lacking in
  •  Review, Review, Review ICD 10 Coding conventions
  •  Sign up for as many FREE courses/webinars you can find and network
  •  Develop a buddy system for ICD 10 studies, it helps to be able to network with other coding professionals in the industry
  •  Share knowledge, and have fun – start a Starbuck’s or Krispy Kreme ICD 10 Meet-up  Group in your area or at your local AAPC/AHIMA chapter.

 I-Ten Free Zone:

 For Free up to the minute ICD 10 news from ICD 10 Monitor, click on the following link:

  • For Free up to the minute ICD 10 news from ICD 10 Monitor, click on the following link:

The WHO (World Health Organization), has developed a great FREE interactive Electronic ICD-10-training tool, designed for the self-learner or classroom setting.  The modules consist of ICD-10 training  in all areas and allows the user(s), to tailor courses on an individual level if necessary or desired.  There is a downloadable instruction guide as well.

 For a great FREE ICD 10 course from the WHO and to maybe utilize in your Starbucks group – please clic on the following link from the WHO:

Get Prepared for I-Ten Now!


Follow me on Twitter: @hollycassano

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