The Federal government is requiring the health care industry to update the codes they use for diseases and conditions.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, everyone covered by HIPAA will start using the new International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, or ICD-10.

The current ICD-9 code sets are outdated and can’t accommodate new procedures and diagnoses. ICD-10 is much more specific. It has more clinical information and the updated terms needed for advances in technology and medicine.

Using ICD-10 will:

  • Better measure health care services
  • Improve health monitoring
  • Provide better data
  • Decrease the need for additional claim documentation
  • Make it easier to add codes in the future

ICD-10 training sources

Because the new ICD-10 codes are more specific, you’ll need training to use them.  Training ranges from general information about the code set to coding classes for professionals.

If you’re a biller, check with your professional association to see if they offer training. If you’re a clinician, check with your medical and specialty society.

Community colleges and organizations like the American Health Information Management Association or the American Academy of Professional Coders are also good sources for ICD-10 training. Sometimes  ICD-10 coding is built into the continuing education units that certified coders take to maintain their credentials. 

ICD-10 documents

Informational documents


Important links

ICD-10 Testing

Our professional and facility testing for ICD-10 preparedness begins in the fourth quarter of 2013.

With professional testing, you’ll be able to use an online tool that lets you choose ICD-10 codes for a number of medical scenarios based on your specialty. Then you can see results and compare your answers to other providers in your specialty.  You’ll also be able to see how the codes you choose have an impact on the way benefits are applied, as well as other important information.

During facility testing, we look at diagnosis related groups and certain codes to see how ICD-10 will affect those diagnosis related groups. We’ll work with interested facilities to find diagnosis related groups and codes of interest. Then, those facilities will recode associated claims. Finally, we’ll use an online tool to analyze results and create a report.

More information will be available during the fourth quarter. You can check back here or read The Record.

If you’d like to participate in testing, email us at ICD-10ProviderTesting@bcbsm.com.

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