In my opinion, training on a coding system you won’t be using for over three years (39 months) doesn’t make sense. Think about it. Do you really need to spend your valuable time and money learning something that has no immediate practical use?
Do you remember Y2K, when the world was supposed to end because computer systems would not be able to handle the date change from 1999 to 2000? Regrettably, health care organizations spent millions developing disaster plans for something that never happened. The same confusion and scare tactics are being used to sell you ICD-10-CM products, newsletters, seminars and training programs that you don’t yet need.
You already know that ICD-10-CM is different than ICD-9-CM. You know that it has more codes, has a letter in the first position, and may be 3-7 digits. Depending on what extensions you include, ICD-10-CM has 5-10 times as many codes as ICD-9-CM. But that doesn’t mean it’s harder to learn or to use, just that there are more choices. A professional coder will quickly get the look and feel of it. At this time, that’s really all you need to know.
In you’re skeptical, please Google and read the March 24, 2010 blog by Tom Sullivan at www.icd10watch.com, titled “CMS, AAPC, AHIMA all agree it’s too early to start ICD-10 training.” The blog states “All three, in fact, recommend that healthcare organizations should start training during the year of implementation, which means the first quarter of 2013, or perhaps 2012’s final quarter.” According to the AAPC and AHIMA experts quoted in the blog, “training coders, particularly those already proficient in ICD-9-CM, will require a mere matter of days.”
You have a choice. You can invest now in ICD-10 training that you don’t need, will forget, and will have to repeat later, or you can save your money and wait to start your training until late 2012 or early 2013, closer to the implementation date. When the right time comes, PMIC, home of the “Billion Dollar Biller”, will offer all of the ICD-10-CM products you need to make this transition.