ICD-10: the New Teacher's Pet

The healthcare industry’s transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS will ramp up in August as educators begin teaching ICD-10 as the primary classification system.

An AHIMA-developed timeline for transitioning academic institutions to ICD-10 recommends the new code set be taught as the current classification system in associate and baccalaureate HIM degree programs starting with the August 2011 academic year. ICD-9 should be taught as a legacy system, according to the practice brief titled “Advancing the Academic Transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS.” Shorter coding certificate programs will not begin transitioning their curriculum until August 2012.

Students beginning an associate’s degree HIM program next month will graduate in May 2013, just five months before the ICD-10 conversion deadline of October 1, 2013. Many HIM faculty are being trained on ICD-10 this summer, and school curriculum committees will be busy implementing their final changes to HIM courses.

Staff will be ready to focus on ICD-10 at West Virginia Northern Community College, according to Korene Silvestri, HIT program director and associate professor at the school.  Silvestri was a contributor to the AHIMA practice brief.

While past graduating classes received minimal training on ICD-10 in their capstone courses, new students entering the RHIT program next month will learn ICD-10 as the primary code set when they begin coding courses in January, Silvestri says.

Faculty at the college plan to discuss with new students how much or little they want to learn about ICD-9 during the program. With their graduation date so close to the ICD-10 deadline, many students will not have a chance to code in ICD-9 before the transition, Silvestri says.

While healthcare facilities have hired consultants and scrambled to ensure they’re ready for ICD-10, Silvestri says educators have less to worry about with their transition.

After training staff and modifying their curriculum for ICD-10, the act of teaching students on the new code set doesn’t differ much from teaching ICD-9.

“When you introduce a group of students to ICD-10 that know nothing of ICD-9, they don’t know the difference,” Silvestri says. “It is just another class to them.”

More online: An ICD-10 education could be the ticket to a job for the 2011 freshman class, one educator says. Hear more in an online audio feature.

Article citation:
. "ICD-10: the New Teacher's Pet" Journal of AHIMA 82, no.7 (July 2011): 88.