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Absolutely NOT!! First and foremost, no one has implied that all areas of training have to be extensive and expensive. What must be all-encompassing, however, is the evaluation of skill level in these areas. First, determine the level of standardized skill required (such as 90th - 95th percentile success) in a pre-designed set of assessments; this way, the coder would only need to remediate areas where his/her proficiency may be lacking. Those skills that the coder currently maintains at a high level would need no further repetition. One critical link is recognizing that the coders are adult learners and the material must be designed (either for skill evaluation or training) with adult needs in mind while recognizing that most coders work at minimum a 40 hours/week and have obligations outside work.

Our profession was very fortunate when a group of health information administrators and technicians were selected from inception in the design and development of ICD-10-CM and PCS. Their trials and tribulations along their journey paved the way for our successes. As a profession, we strive for data quality being job#1, and nationwide standardized diagnosis and procedure coding can only be accomplished if all coders have similar skill sets. When taking this into consideration, we must recognize that many of our current coders have been out of mainstream education for greater than 5-15 years and have focused their educational efforts around yearly continuing education units for an outdated ICD-9-CM classification system.

Take a look at each of the two new ICD-10 coding classification systems. Both are so advanced and so exact in their code design and definition that we will have more clarity to become more standardized. This, however, can only be accomplished by understanding the medical sciences surrounding each of the ICD-10 coding systems and being able to apply this knowledge into the correct coding structures and functions as defined by our medical documentation.

In the next blog, we will discuss coder training needs for the two coding and classification systems. Remember, we are not to far away for the ICD-10-CM and PCS go-live date of October 1, 2014.

What can In Record Time do for you now, individually or for your organization, to ease the stress associated with your ICD-10 preparation? We can provide you with an ICD-10 training solution and/or the remote coding support that you need during this time! Contact us today!

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