AHIMA switches training emphasis from ICD-9 to ICD-10

Medical records training courses at community colleges are transitioning from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10 code set, according to Patt Peterson, director of education and workforce for the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

In a recent interview with HIT Exchange, Peterson said that students at many institutions are learning both code sets. Starting this year, she added, the emphasis in AHIMA-certified training programs will shift to ICD-10, although ICD-9 will continue to be taught.

"We still need to know from a legacy perspective how to go backward to pull information in a different nomenclature," she noted.

About half of medical coding and billing jobs require an associate's degree; some positions, especially supervisory ones, necessitate a bachelor's degree, according to the article.

AHIMA certifies both hospital- and ambulatory care coders. The association also offers continuing education courses for coders who already have jobs. But AHIMA believes that new graduates may lead the ICD-10 transition.

AHIMA has been among the leading proponents of ICD-10. After the American Medical Association recently called on Congress to block the implementation of ICD-10, AHIMA warned providers not to let that slow their efforts. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) later extended the deadline for moving to ICD-10, which was originally scheduled for October 2013.

According to a recent survey by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), ICD-10 readiness persists as a problem, CMIO reports. Nearly half of the providers surveyed weren't sure when they would complete their impact assessments. Additionally, a small survey by claims clearinghouse EDI Gateway held on a recent webinar found that only one-third of respondents have begun planning for ICD-10, Health Data Management reports.

To learn more:
- read the HIT Exchange article
- see the AHIMA web pages on coder certification
- check out this CMIO article
- here's the Health Data Management brief

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