ICD-10 Deadline October 1, 2015: Train Your Staff

While ICD-10 is almost here, you still have time to get ready. But you must get ready now.

Each day this week we are highlighting 1 of the 5 steps from the new Quick Start Guide:

  1. Make a Plan
  2. Train Your Staff
  3. Update Your Processes
  4. Talk with Your Vendors and Health Plans
  5. and Test Your Systems and Processes. Today our focus is

Step: 2 Train Your Staff

  • Train staff on ICD-10 fundamentals using the wealth of free resources from CMS, which include the ICD-10 website, Road to 10, Email Updates, National Provider Calls, and webinars. Free resources are also available from:
    • Medical societies, health care professional associations
    • Hospitals, health systems, health plans, vendors
  • Identify top codes. What ICD-9 diagnosis codes does your practice see most often? Target the top 25 to start. You might want to look at common diagnosis codes available from:
    • Road to 10 (see Specialty References)
    • Medical specialty societies
    • Using the documentation available, code current cases in ICD-10. Flag any cases where more documentation is needed.


  • Training for clinical staff—e.g., physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses—should focus on documentation, new coding concepts captured in ICD-10
  • Training for coding and administrative staff—e.g., coders, billers, practice managers—should focus on ICD-10 fundamentals
  • You can review your superbills, encounter forms, and practice management system reports to identify your most commonly used ICD-10 codes
  • If time permits, expand your ICD-10 coding of current cases to include 50 or more of your top codes, until 80% of your claims are covered
  • You don’t have to use 68,000 codes—as you do now, your practice will likely use a very small subset of ICD-10 codes
  • You will use a similar process to look up ICD-10 codes that you use with ICD-9
  • While crosswalks from ICD-9 to ICD-10 can be useful references, ICD-10 codes should be based on the clinical documentation rather than selected from a crosswalk
  • Practices that do not prepare for ICD-10 will not be able to submit claims for services performed on or after October 1, 2015

To learn more about getting ready, visit cms.gov/ICD10 for free resources including the Road to 10 tool designed especially for small and rural practices, but useful for all health care professionals.

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