On 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1, ICD-10-CM will become the only coding system that can be used for recording your diagnosis when you provide services to your patients. Practicing allergists and their staff need to be ready to use ICD–10-CM so you can get paid. Where do you start?

The Advocacy Council has already presented two webinars on ICD–10 coding – if you missed them, they are available online:

The Essentials of ICD-10-CM (non-CME) - perfect for you and your staff to get an overview of ICD-10 and how it compares to ICD-9.

The Physicians Perspective of ICD-10-CM (1.5 CME) - geared toward physicians, this dives deep into the codes you will need to use to get paid.

What else can you do?

Develop your super bill. This will be the key to successful implementations of ICD-10 diagnosis coding. It’s a list of the most commonly used diagnoses in your office. Instead of creating a multi-page paper super bill for each patient, using a laminated multi-page super bill might be an alternative. Working in conjunction with our ICD–10 coding consultant, we have developed a crosswalk of what we believe to be the most common diagnoses used under ICD–9, and therefore we think will continue to be the most common diagnoses used with ICD–10 coding. You will need to supplement this list since ICD-10 incorporates laterality. For example, you will need to code the otitis on the left side differently from the otitis on the right side. You can look for a diagnosis in the index (ICD-10-CM INDEX TO DISEASES and INJURIES) and then confirm it in the tabular list (ICD-10-CM TABULAR LIST of DISEASES and INJURIES) being sure that the documentation and coding are consistent. 

Check out Medicare’s resources. Medicare (CMS) has developed a free, online training program for ICD–10 use - it’s very extensive, geared for you and your staff, and includes a number of videos. Medicare also issues monthly updates about the use of ICD-10 - sign up today.

Order coding books with a special, College member discount.

Explore what else is out there. There are many other resources for ICD-10 education - most for a fee. Not having accessed these, we can’t tell you anything about their cost or their completeness. But search around. There are even some free YouTube videos that walk you through ICD-10 coding.

Physician ICD–10 education may not be high on your already overloaded work list, but we urge you to start your ICD–10 education as soon as possible. You do need to be ready well in advance of the effective date of this requirement so you and your billing office can test connectivity. If you are not completely ready for the use of ICD–10 by Oct. 1, you may see a significant negative impact on your income.

The Advocacy Council will provide continuing physician and staff education on ICD-10 and are evaluating the need for another webinar. Let us know how we can help meet your needs by reaching out to us at advocacycouncil@acaai.org. We’re happy to receive your questions which we may answer directly or via another webinar.

If you have not yet upgraded your hardware or are falling behind in preparations, please contact the Advocacy Council office via email or at 847-427-1200 and we will try to arrange for you to get advice on how to catch up.