The interest in ICD-10-CM training is at a high level with most coders, which is not going to stop till October 1, 2013, implementation date. We are constantly seeing the drive for education careening to ICD-10-CM; however, but ICD-9-CM isn't supposed to be left behind.
Coders should be well-versed with their coding manuals. Remember, outpatient coding is not simply about CPT coding, but it is relatively about conceptualizing the whole picture in conjunction with CPT and ICD-9-CM codes. ICD-9-CM has a comprehensive listing of guidelines similar to the CPT manual. Interpreting ICD-9-CM knowledge prevents coders from fully understanding why diagnosis codes are used or sequenced in a specific way to produce complete claims. A coder must have a well-rounded knowledge of CPT, HCPCS, and ICD-9-CM. This will lead to fewer denials owing to ICD-9-CM mismatches with the CPT codes chosen.
The basics of ICD-9-CM should be well known; though, let's evaluate the important steps coders are required to take in order to correctly report the diagnosis for the following example.
A patient was admitted after developing severe diarrhea on day 50 following a living donor kidney transplant. A stool sample revealed a significant number of donor lymphocytes due to acute graft-vs.-host (GVH) disease. The physician diagnosed the patient with acute GVH disease.
First, find the main entry term; in this scenario, let's look at GVH disease. Keep in mind, conditions are expressed in the documentation as well as the index as nouns, adjectives, and eponyms. Numerous synonyms are also used for some circumstances, letting a coder to find the precise code through numerous lookup methods.
The next step is to look at the code found in the tabular section of the index to confirm correct code selection.