The October 1, 2013 deadline for ICD-10 codes is going to be here quicker than we think. The sooner we start to prepare for it, the better. There is already a lot of information available about ICD-10’s including training sessions and webinars. The ICD-10’s are more complicated than the ICD-9’s and many feel that the transition to the ICD-10’s will be the most challenging transition since the inception of coding. There are over 155,000 codes in the ICD-10 set which is about ten times the number of codes in the ICD-9 set.
It is important that providers prepare for the transition. If you are a billing service, the diagnoses should come over to you already coded, but it will still be important that you understand the new system. It is said that many insurance carriers will not be ready by the deadline, but don’t count on that meaning that the deadline will be extended.
The American Academy of Professional Coders, AAPC, has released an online code conversion tool. The tool which is available on their website at http://www.aapc.com/icd-10/codes will allow users to convert ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes and vice versa. The conversions are based on the General Equivalency Mapping files published by the CMS. The tool is available to users free.