Refocusing on ICD-9-CM

Coding and Billing4 Comments


With the government mandate delaying the implementation of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS until at least October 1, 2015, the Health Information Management industry has had to switch gears from full speed ahead with ICD-10 to refocusing on the continued use of ICD-9-CM.

The delay has tipped more than one apple cart as employers have had to rethink their hiring and training strategies for 2014, 2015, and possibly even 2016, and the national certifying bodies have had to put release of ICD-10 based certification exams on hold.

Career Step is no exception to the chaos and confusion that is now slowly subsiding in the wake of the delay. However, during a time when many flash-in-the-pan training organizations are packing up their tents and going home, in typical fashion, Career Step has not faltered. True to form, this company has stepped up to the challenge to support our students and clients through these changes and the still looming uncertainty of when ICD-10 will eventually be implemented.

We are continuing to provide quality training in medical coding for both ICD-9-CM or ICD-10-CM/PCS. Career Step not only continues to offer ICD-9 coding training, but we have also recently released a newer, updated version of training in this code set. Also being offered are supplemental programs that allow recent graduates from either the ICD-9 or ICD-10 training to become acquainted and comfortable with coding in the additional code set. This ensures graduates are prepared to certify and work in whatever version of the code set is immediately required.

Current and prospective students alike should recognize that Career Step is committed to the success of our students and graduates and will continue to provide affordable and relevant training solutions regardless of the changing nature of the industry. We’ve got your back!


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  1. Jeannie Bokemeyer July 30, 2014

    I don’t understand how you can teach us anything when there is no direction or facts of how this is to turn out. How do you know what to teach?  How can you prepare us for a job when there is so much confusion and unstableness.  No direction finalized.  How can you release a newer, updated version of training when no one has finalized what is going to happen? I feel as though I have wasted my money on this program and the time I have already put into it. I opted to stay with the ICD-10 that I originally signed up for and then take the ICD-9 mini course your offering at the end.  But now I believe I have made a poor choice.  Not realizing there was not enough information given to base a decision to stay with ICD-10 or switch to ICD-9 or to just get a refund and wait until things were finalized.  The program is stressful enough without all the unstability and confusion of what is truly going to happen. 
    Your talking about other organizations packing up their tents and going home tells me this whole thing is a giant mess.  I believe you cannot put the cart before the horse and that is what I see happening with now another change in your program(releasing a newer, updated version of training in this code set). How many days, weeks, months before another change and another because this ICD-10 change has not been finalized and kinks worked out and people getting on the same page.
    I’m very unhappy with choosing to take this route as a career.
    I would like to know if there is any possible way I can get a refund? I don’t believe it to be fair to continue on a path that keeps changing without facts to make the change of how you plan to teach us. I signed up for one thing and it is now being changed twice. I am only in the medical terminology and do not want to get further and face more obstacles or take one or the other coding and they not implement the ICD-10 or possible change to something completely different.  Already you are saying they have put ICD-10 certification exams on hold. What next? And what information is out there that we don’t even know about?
    Very disappointed.  I know you are trying to help but like I said I don’t see how you can with out facts & finalization of what is going to happen.  You can only try one thing after another and that makes no sense.  That is running on a hamster wheel getting no where. That’s insanity!
    Awaiting your reply, Jeannie Bokemeyer

  2. Mark Driskill July 30, 2014

    I have about a month left to completing the ICD-10 course so what does this mean as far as I am concerned regarding certification.

  3. Career Step August 13, 2014

    Hi Jeannie,

    We understand your frustration. However, there is good news. CMS just recently released their ruling on the new ICD-10 implementation date. The date is set! October 1, 2015 is our new set of marching orders—on that date healthcare facilities and insurance companies will be switching to the ICD-10 code set.

    In regards to your question about how we know what to teach, we’re teaching our students both the ICD-10 and ICD-9 code sets to ensure you’ll be ready no matter what happens. The update we released implemented improved instructional design and learning methods—we didn’t actually change the curriculum we were teaching, so there’s no need to worry that we’re switching direction every few months. We are steady in our commitment to ensure students are prepared to use both code sets.

    You also don’t need to worry about making the wrong decision between sticking with the ICD-10 training or transitioning to ICD-9. Both options will leave you prepared to code in both code sets—a skill employers will be looking for as they’re preparing for the new Oct. 2015 date—because we’re including our ICD-10 FastTrack or ICD-9 for ICD-10 Coders courses. In fact, there are even experts who have suggested that learning ICD-10 and then going back to learn ICD-9 is more effective because ICD-10 requires a more in-depth medical foundation. However, either Career Step training option will ensure students are career-ready upon graduation.

    We understand that making a career change is a time of doubt and misgivings already without industry shake-ups to increase the uncertainty. However, medical coding is still a great field to go into. There’s a shortage of well-trained professionals, and if you stick with your Career Step training you’re going to be in a position to fill that need—no matter when ICD-10 is implemented.

    I encourage you to contact your Medical Coding and Billing instructors. You can reach them directly at 1-888-657-5752 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). As experienced medical coders they have the industry connections and experience to truly understand what all of these changes mean for students. They can help you understand the methods behind the decisions we’ve made to take care of our students, even with the continued industry uncertainty.

    Don’t give up! And best wishes as you’re studying!

  4. Career Step August 13, 2014

    Hi Mark,

    As the certification exams are still testing on the ICD-9 code set, you will need to complete the ICD-9 for ICD-10 Coders course that you should be receiving upon graduation before you take the certification test(s). If you’d like more information on this course or how to get access once you’ve graduated, please contact your Medical Coding and Billing instructors at 1-888-657-5752 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Best of luck finishing up the course!

  5. jane July 10, 2015

    I graduated with an associates in medical billing and coding in 2011. I took certification test in 2013 and failed by a hair. Because of medical problems i have been out of the loop. I only have til OCt to take icd9 certification. I dont think its enough time to study and pass it. What should I do. I cant afford to go back to college. Is there a course I can take or should I just try to study on my own and take the ICD10. Im so confused

  6. Hi Jane,
    I would suggest to start studying for the ICD 10. We do have an ICD-10 course that you would be welcome to take. I’m not sure the cost of this, but it will prepare you for the certification exams in ICD-10. This would also provide you with current code books to use for the certification exam. If this is something that would interest you, contact an enrollment advisor at 1-800-411-7073. Good luck with your studies.


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