Health Information Management

ICD-10 conversion presents opportunities, challenges

HIM-HIPAA Insider, December 29, 2009

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You may think you have plenty of time to get ready for the conversion from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM/PCS. After all, you don’t have to begin using the new codes until October 1, 2013, and that’s still four years away. No need to worry about that now, right? Wrong.

“For payers and vendors, and even for big providers who have in-house systems and applications they want to keep, it’s past time to get going,” says Rhonda Butler, CCS, CCS-P, clinical research analyst at 3M in Wallingford, CT. Butler and Sue Bowman, RHIA, CCS, director of coding policy and compliance at AHIMA in Chicago, discussed the challenges involved in converting from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM/PCS during the October 3 AHIMA national convention in Grapevine, TX.

Substantial conceptual and structural differences exist between the two code systems. In fact, the differences are so significant that Butler compared the two coding systems to two different languages. But not everyone realizes how great the changes are.

Note: For more information, visit the HCPro Web site. Subscribers to Medical Records Briefing have access to this article in the January issue of the newsletter.



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