ICD-9, ICD-10, ICD-What? Making sense of the coming Medical Coding industry changes

Referral Blog8 Comments

Medical Coding and BillingIf you’re at all familiar with the medical coding industry you’ve probably heard of the coming transition to ICD-10. For everyone else, here’s a brief explanation…

On October 1, 2014 all healthcare providers must begin using ICD-10 codes when they submit claims to insurance companies and Medicare or Medicaid. Right now, they’re using ICD-9 codes (which are diagnoses codes used to track patient data as well as for reimbursement purposes). This is a really big deal because we’re going from about 14,000 codes (in ICD-9) to over 69,000 codes (in ICD-10).

Employers are working really hard to make sure they’re prepared for the transition because not correctly coding claims results in lost revenue. Medical coders are obviously on the front lines of the transition and will need a significant amount of education in order to successfully make the transition.

Because the transition date is still over a year away, AHIMA (the American Health Information Management Association) recommends that educators hold off on transitioning their education to the new code set until August 2013—a recommendation that we’re following here at Career Step because we want to ensure our students can start working as soon as they graduate (which they’ll need ICD-9 knowledge to do). However, to ensure our students are also prepared for the new transition, all new Medical Coding and Billing students will also receive a free ICD-10 FastTrack course.

As a referrer, this is the important message to pass on to anyone you know who is interested in medical coding: with Career Step education, they’ll gain the ICD-9 skills they need to earn industry certifications and start working after graduation, but they’ll also receive a free course designed to help them make the transition to ICD-10.

We’ve added this information to your referrer webpage and will also be releasing a new ebook on it shortly. Stay tuned!


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  1. Doralynn April 02, 2013

    I’d wondered about that. It’s good to know you have the students covered. But you have a history of that.

  2. Barbara Martin Simmon April 02, 2013

    Is this ICD10 course available for me as well?

  3. Cindy Balloga April 02, 2013

    Glad to hear it!  How do we get it?  I have just started my training program in Coding/Billing.

  4. Career Step April 03, 2013

    The ICD-10 FastTrack course will be released late this summer per AHIMA’s recommendations. It will be available for purchase at that point as well as for those students who receive a free enrollment. We’ll keep you all posted as details become available!

  5. Chaya April 09, 2013

    I really feel that students that are still current in the program should get the ICD-10 for free too. I am sure many students will feel the same way.

  6. Career Step April 10, 2013

    Hi Chaya, with a 12-month course completion timeline, students who started training before April should finish more than 6 months ahead of the October 1, 2014 ICD-10 transition deadline. Employers will still be looking for ICD-9 trained coders at this point, and once you’re hired your employer will be responsible for helping you gain the education you need to transition to ICD-10. AHIMA specifically recommends that students who start training before August 2013 focus on the ICD-9 codes, and we’ve started including the ICD-10 FastTrack course a few months in advance of that recommendation only because the CCA certification exam will be transitioning to ICD-10 next April. If you’re interested in training on the ICD-10 codes on your own even though you should be finishing well in advance of the October 2014 transition deadline, the ICD-10 FastTrack will be available this summer. Hope that helps!

  7. Priscilla November 27, 2013

    How can I get the ICD-10 fast track course

  8. Career Step November 27, 2013

    Hi Priscilla,

    Are you already a Career Step student? If you enrolled between April 1 and July 31 in our Inpatient and Outpatient Medical Coding and Billing program you can receive the ICD-10 FastTrack program for free. You just need to contact our Operations team at 1-888-657-5752 option 2 to arrange delivery. Otherwise, you can find more information about the program on our website at http://www.careerstep.com/icd10-fasttrack or contact an Academic Advisor at 1-800-411-7073 for more information.

    Best wishes!


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