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Laureen: OK, so this one is for Alicia, ICD-9 versus ICD-10.

Alicia: Yey! This one is very pretty short and sweet too.

Q: Should I wait to take the CPC exam when ICD-10 comes out?

A: No, don’t wait, do not wait. I mean, if something happens and it’s funds or something like that, I can see why you would wait. But, here are three little great reasons why you don’t wait. The guidelines are mostly the same, which there’s few little changes and nuances, they added a few words like laterality and stuff, but it’s the same. And then looking up the codes are done the same: you look up your codes in the index, then you look up the codes in the tabular; so index, just like you’re looking up a name in a phonebook and then you go to the tabular to get your definition to verify it’s the same. The main differences is that there’s laterality – meaning, that before you didn’t have a code for right or left or bilateral, maybe just a bilateral, but now you have codes for right and left and unspecified whether right or left or both. That’s why there’s more codes, it’s not that they came up with all these other diseases, it’s the fact that they’re giving you more options so that you can code to a higher specificity.

ICD 9 vs ICD 10 — Take the CPC Exam Now or Wait for ICD 10? – Video

Now, the other thing is, and the biggie is employers are going to want you to know both code sets, because for one thing ICD-9 is not going away for workman’s comp = workman’s comp I think is keeping ICD-9. And here’s another one that’s keeping ICD-9, it has to do with motor vehicle or something that I was just reading an article on; but ICD-9 it’s going to take a while to clean up the ICD-9 when the change happens, because the change is going to be like flipping a switch at midnight October, what it is? 31st or whenever it’s changing, the next morning.

[Ed. Note: the date for switching to ICD-10-CM is October 1, 2014.]

Laureen: First.

Alicia: Yeah, the first, the next morning you’re in ICD-10. So, all those claims that needed to be corrected prior to that, you, the people have to know ICD-9, and it will take a while to do that. So, you walk in to a prospective employer and you say “I know ICD-9 and I know ICD-10 and I feel comfortable coding back and forth,” and they’re going to say “Thank you very much. I would like to hire you.”

But, if you go in and say “Well, I decided that since it’s going to switch, I just decided to go with the new, let’s just learn ICD-10,” and then they’re going to look at their stock of stuff that’s back logged, that needed to be coded in ICD-9 and then they’re going to put your resume at the bottom and find somebody that can do both.

The sooner that you can get certified, the better; and that time until the change you’re just building up experience. So, I would say do not wait absolutely do not, you’re running out of time to know both code sets if you do not know how to code, so don’t wait.

Laureen: I definitely concur with all of that, and some people feel that they’re wasting their time with the ICD-9 and you’re really not because a lot of it translates over. I mean, it does look different, alphanumeric and all that stuff but it’s not like the difference between CPT and ICD, it’s still ICD.

Alicia: And it’s not even as difficult as going from our math to the decimal system and stuff like that, that’s harder than this. This is so simple, it’s a very simple change.

Laureen: Alright.

Alicia: Did I say decimal system? I meant metric system. Yeah, metric system.

Read More about CPC Exam

Medical Coding Certification – ICD 10 CM Mini versus ICD 10 Full Course – Video
AAPC – ICD-9 to ICD-10

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2016-11-20T23:37:59+00:00

About the Author:

AliciaScott-Instructor
Alicia has been working in the medical field for over 20 years. She first learned about medical coding while working in a medical records department at a resort town hospital near where she was raised. Through the years she has held several jobs in the medical field from, CNA, EMT, Pharmacy technician and Medial Records Abstractor and Analyst. Outside of the medical field she has worked as a Real Estate agent, and owned her own on-line retail business. The medical field has always been where she felt the most comfortable. Alicia has taught medical coding, billing and medical law and ethics at a private college. She also did contract work in HCC Risk Adjustment and discovered she really enjoyed ICD work. Because she loves to learn Alicia is working towards her Masters in Health Care Administration with an emphasis on education. Having taken many online classes through the years to complete her degree she feels very comfortable with both face to face and on-line learning. Alicia will tell you that not only does she love medical coding but she has a passion for teaching it. Alicia lives in the middle of Texas with her husband who is a Pastor, five of her six children, three dogs and two cats.

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