Focus on the most frequently used codes at your primary-care practice - such as these seven - to better prepare for the ICD-10 transition.
Whether you are ready or not, ICD-10 will come. Don't let the fact that the number of codes is increasing from about 13,000 to more than 69,000 scare you. You will only need to focus on the new codes relevant to your specialty.While there are many steps a practice needs to take to get ready for ICD-10, the ones that most affect providers are documentation improvement and understanding which codes will change for their practice specifically.The best way to prepare for the coding changes is code mapping the most frequently used codes in your practice. Depending on the practice, it could be the top 20 codes or top 100. For many primary-care providers, the number will be more like 20 codes to 50 codes. Mapping these top ICD-9 codes to their ICD-10 equivalents will help providers get a feel for the new codes and prepare to start using them. Providers should not rely entirely on an ICD-9 to ICD-10 crosswalk because some new codes have many very specific options.This is certainly not an all-encompassing list, and it doesn't replace code mapping for your practice. However, it does provide some guidance on key areas primary-care providers should dig into a little deeper to be better prepared for some big changes coming that will impact their daily routine.Michelle Cavanaugh, RN, CPC, CANPC, CGIC, CPB, CMRS, is an American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) approved ICD-10 trainer, certified coder, certified professional biller, and certified medical reimbursement specialist at Kareo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.To view the slides in PDF format, click here.