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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 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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