The ICD-10 Delay: What It Means For Career Step Students
As you may or may not know, on April 1 House Bill H.R. 432 was signed into law. The primary purpose of this law was to create a temporary “patch” to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate. However, certain language in this law also caused a delay in the implementation of the ICD-10 code set. The implementation date was delayed once before, moving the date from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014. The language in the new law states that ICD-10 cannot be implemented before October 1, 2015. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not yet made an announcement on when the new implementation date will be scheduled.
You can find information regarding the impact of this law and the story behind the efforts of AHIMA to defeat this bill in this Journal of AHIMA article.
As you can imagine, these changes have caused a lot of uncertainty and multitudes of questions from everyone in the healthcare industry. A few areas where the impact will be felt the most are coding education, coding certification exams, and coding jobs—so, of course, we’ve heard a lot of concern from our students. Students who have been educated exclusively in ICD-10 are now left wondering how they will certify and find a job in a workplace still using ICD-9. Students who are completing their training in ICD-9 have less to worry about on the certification and employment fronts but may wonder when and if they will ever be able to get ICD-10 education in the event that the transition to the new code set is sometime after October 1, 2015.
In the face of this uncertainty, we’re stepping up to offer our students the most comprehensive and flexible set of training options possible. New students enrolling with Career Step programs will be trained in ICD-9 to ensure they’re prepared for certification and the workplace, and they will also be provided free ICD-10 training upon graduation to make sure they’re prepared for the future as well.
For those Career Step students who are already training in an ICD-10 program, we’ve developed a number of options depending on where you are in your training. Students who can will transition over to ICD-9 and receive our ICD-10 supplemental program for free, and those who are well into the ICD-10 training will be able to finish and then train on ICD-9 afterward.
We have two supplemental training courses: one to help ICD-9 trained coders prepare for ICD-10 (ICD-10 FastTrack) and one to train ICD-10 coders to use ICD-9 (ICD-9 for ICD-10 Coders). These courses will be used to educate students in the differences and specifics of the code set that is not their “primary coding language.”
The trend we have seen among many educators in the industry is to continue moving forward with ICD-10 training and not return to ICD-9 training. We are proud to be standing out by providing for our students whichever path they’re on—ICD-9 or ICD-10 education. Career Step has made a firm commitment to take care of our students by creating and providing options that offer full and complete coding training in both code sets so you are all prepared to earn your certifications and start working after graduation.
After all, that’s why you’re in school, right? Our goal—just like yours—is to help you start working as a medical coder, and we will always build our education with that goal in mind.
If you have any questions about how the ICD-10 delay will impact you as a Career Step Medical Coding and Billing student, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-657-5752 or firstname.lastname@example.org.