Tools to Tackle ICD-10 Rollout Questions

Tune in to this monthly online coding column to learn from AHIMA’s coding experts about challenging areas and documentation opportunities for ICD-10-CM/PCS.


With the arrival of October 1, 2015 came the official rollout of ICD-10-CM/PCS. As such, there are likely more than a few healthcare organizations nationwide frantically working to cope with the new increased specificity that ICD-10 has to offer. Even after months (even years) of preparation, coding professionals are going to see the frustration in searching for “exact” codes. The frustration comes from the unknown. Why was it denied even though you were confident in your submission? But don’t worry; you don’t have to be a part of that chaos.

Tools to Help You Cope

There are many tools available to help you transition to the ICD-10 code set. One helpful resource for both AHIMA members and non-members is the AHIMA Engage Communities. This free resource provides a location for you to ask questions of your peers and gain insight into challenges and opportunities facing others in the industry.

In addition, to receive official ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding advice, coders can send questions to the American Hospital Association’s Coding Clinic.

A new tool unveiled at this year’s AHIMA Annual Convention and Exhibit in New Orleans, LA, called Code-CheckTM, has been developed to support organizations as they work through this transition, called AHIMA Code-CheckTM, which is available to both individuals and organizations. Subscribers to Code-Check can submit questions related to ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, CPT, and HCPCS Level II. Other functions of the tool include:

  • Expert interpretation and guidance on necessary pathways for accurate code assignment
  • Nomenclature and terminology relationships vital to correct coding paths
  • Professional coding staff knowledgeable in ICD-10-CM/PCS, CPT, and HCPCS Level II code sets
  • Solutions with cited sources
  • Guidelines for when to query for necessary documentation
  • Quarterly reporting options for organizations to target employee training needs
Melanie Endicott, MBA/HCM, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, FAHIMA, is senior director of HIM practice excellence, coding and CDI products development at AHIMA. She has over 15 years experience in HIM and coding, with her most recent focus being in ICD-10-CM/PCS, and has presented numerous times at the regional, state, and national levels on HIM and coding topics. She was previously a director of HIM practice excellence, focusing on coding products, resources, and education, at AHIMA. Melanie is an AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer and an ICD-10 Ambassador.

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