ICD-10 Cheat Sheet for Physicians

With this, my 9th post in the “ICD-10 Essentials for Busy Physicians Who Would Rather Be Doing Something Else” series, I could get all high and mighty and wag my finger at those who have no intention of doing any of that “good for you” stuff the industry has been recommending. Things like taking advantage of ICD-10 specificity, modernizing and upgrading your office systems, yada yada yada.

It is no doubt a good idea and it may very well benefit you in ways you can’t anticipate (aside from avoiding penalties and maybe even getting in on a little incentive money). But I am practically allergic to telling people what to do. So, if you want to stick with this cheat sheet for coding in ICD-10, I will not try to talk you out of it.

Popular hype says it is impossible to make a reasonable-sized coding cheat sheet that contains the most common conditions coded in your practice. For many of you, that is emphatically not so. Gastroenterologists have 596 ICD-9 codes and 706 codes in ICD-10; pulmonologists have 255 codes in ICD-9 and 336 codes in ICD-10; urologists have 389 codes in ICD-9 and 591 codes in ICD-10; endocrinologists have 335 codes in ICD-9 and 675 codes in ICD-10; neurologists have 459 codes in ICD-9 and 591 codes in ICD-10; pediatricians have 702 codes in ICD-9 and 591 codes in ICD-10. The infectious disease specialists actually lost codes, from 1,270 in ICD-9 down to 1,056 in ICD-10. (I expect to hear howls of protest — not really.)

Read the rest of my latest blog at PhysBizTech.

Rhonda Butler is a Senior Clinical Research Analyst with 3M Health Information Systems.

4 responses to “ICD-10 Cheat Sheet for Physicians

  1. Analyn Dolopo-Simon

    How about orthopedics, CT surgery, neurosurgery and interventional cardiologist?

  2. Are cheat sheets now accepted practice for coding? I’m old school but they have always been a no-no I thought. Can someone update me?

    • You’re absolutely right, Laura. Cheat sheets, also called “superbills,” have always been considered a no-no in professional coding circles. But they continue to be used, particularly in physician practices. It is assumed that this dubious method of assigning codes will continue in the world of ICD-10. Some years ago, AHIMA posted a sample ICD-10 superbill for an internal medicine physician practice to demonstrate the process of converting an ICD-9 based superbill to ICD-10. It is still posted on the AHIMA website at http://www.ahima.org/downloads/pdfs/resources/superbil-internalmedicine.pdf..

  3. Pingback: Out with the Old, In with the New – 2012 3M HIS Blog Year in Review | 3M Health Information Systems

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