Convention Q&A: How to get to ICD-10? Practice, practice

Rachel Chebeleu, MBA, RHIA, is the corporate director of professional fee abstraction at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, and has been involved in several aspects of Penn’s ICD-10-CM/PCS preparation. Her presentation, “Coders Learn Coding by Coding – How to Prepare Coders for ICD-10,” Wednesday, October 30 at 12:30 p.m. at AHIMA’s Convention & Exhibit in Atlanta, will explore how coders can achieve the level of practice they need to be trained ICD-10 coders when the October 1, 2014 implementation date arrives.

The Journal of AHIMA spoke to Chebeleu (pictured) about her session at Convention and what attendees can expect to learn about getting ready for ICD-10.


With a year to go, how much practice should coders aim to get in, and what are some of the challenges of getting in enough practice before the October 1, 2014 implementation date?

I think as much practice as possible is the best way to be prepared! The biggest challenge is finding the time, among all the other priorities.


How has your organization approached preparing for ICD-10? Has practice been worked into the plan?

We have been using “Subject Matter Experts,” or SMEs—staff who have completed the AHIIMA “train the trainer” education to code records in ICD-9 and ICD-10. These SMEs are practicing on some records now and plan to do a lot more practice in the future.


Is there a right way, or at least a best way, to practice—what are some of the features of the best kind of practice?

Practicing on an organization’s own records is probably the best. Also, practicing on the same records that your peers are practicing on is a good idea, so that ideas and issues can be discussed. Practicing on the records that potentially will be the most impacted by ICD-10 is also a good idea.


How will coders know when they’re ready for ICD-10?

I’m not so sure that anyone will be “completely ready,” but I think that when the coder feels comfortable and isn’t struggling so much, no matter what service line they are coding—then they are ready. But there will always be unexpected things that will appear as they code different records, documented by different providers.


Who is going to benefit most from attending this Convention session, and what do you want attendees to come away with?

Coders and coding managers—anyone responsible for getting the organization ready for ICD-10. I would like the attendees to come away with a better understanding of what to target when the coders are practicing and also to learn a little bit of Penn’s approach to this difficult issue.


1 Comment

  1. I have ICD-10-CM Coding question: this question is on test that
    I’m doing.
    Hemiplegia affecting the left dominant side following CVA 6 months ago. What ICD-10-CM code(s) are reported?
    A)I63.9, G81.02 B)I69.952 C)I69.959 D)I63.9,G81.92
    We have a disagreement on the answer. The correct answer is
    suppose to be (b) but I was told that’s wrong. I was told the
    correct answer is I69.352. Can you tell which one is correct code? thank you CE CE

    Post a Reply

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