Welcome to ICD-TEN

Welcome to AHIMA's ICD-TEN, created to better prepare you for the transition to ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS. Each monthly issue contains top emerging news, educational opportunities, practical information on coding with the new ICD-10-CM/PCS, preparatory steps for implementation, and more.

If there is an individual whom you feel would benefit by receiving this e-newsletter, please forward this to him or her to subscribe. Look for the next issue of ICD-TEN in October.

Understanding the Differences within ICD-10-PCS

By Cortnie R. Simmons, MHA, RHIA, CCS

As addressed in the last article, ICD-10-CM: A Coder's Coding System, in the June issue of ICD-Ten, there is no doubt that ICD-10-CM/PCS has undergone a major transformation from what coding professionals have been familiar with over the last 30 years with ICD-9-CM. Changes to the coding system have altered the structure, code composition, organization, and the level of detail in codes. This not only exists in ICD-10-CM, but is also seen in the creation of ICD-10-PCS. In ICD-10-CM, code sets keep the same basic format and conventions as ICD-9-CM; however ICD-10-PCS is an entirely new system with a structure and appearance that’s completely different than what coders have been accustomed to.

ICD-10-PCS codes provide an immense difference in completeness than seen in ICD-9-CM, providing a unique code for every procedure in the system. The codes also provide multi-axial standardized terminology- providing flexibility and functionality. The codes are not only well defined, but each term is assigned a specific meaning; no longer will codes have multiple meanings as seen in ICD-9-CM. In addition as new procedures are created in the future, the system will also allow codes to be expanded upon effortlessly.

Due to the new format, structure, and appearance in ICD-10-PCS, there are several differences seen from the procedure codes that coders are used to. The biggest change is in the appearance of the codes. ICD-9-CM procedure codes have three or four numeric digits. However, in ICD-10-PCS, medical/surgical codes have seven characters (without decimals) that are either alpha or numeric, with each character representing a specific aspect of the procedure.

Read more.

Implementing ICD-10 HIPAA Codes

By Steven J Steindel, PhD, FACMI

Between now and October 1, 2013, you will be engaged in preparing your site to report HIPAA claims using the ICD-10 counterparts to the current ICD-9 code sets.1 The replacements for ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, ICD-9-Volume 3, and ICD-10-PCS, are vastly expanded and different from current versions. A recent description of ICD-10-CM/PCS enumerates in detail the major changes found when compared to the prior versions.2 Implementing these code sets is a complex stepwise process that should be underway in more complex sites and in planning for simpler ones. To complicate the process, the new code sets require the new 5010 Transaction messages that are required to be in place in January 2012.3 Most sites will follow parallel paths.

The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) recently published a summary letter of two days of hearings on the implementation of the new standards.4 In addition, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has prepared a detailed timeline on role-based implementation steps.5 In this paper we explore implementation from three areas: planning, education/training, and testing.

Read more.

Rooting Out ICD-10 Procedure Codes, Part 6

By Ann Zeisset, RHIT, CCS, CCS-P

Editor’s note: This is the final part of a series discussing the nine root operation groupings.

The medical and surgical procedure section of ICD-10-PCS contains most but not all procedures typically coded and reported in the hospital inpatient setting. This article is the seventh in a series explaining ICD-10-PCS root operation groupings in this section of ICD-10-PCS. 

There are 31 root operations in the medical and surgical procedure section of ICD-10-PCS. These root operations are arranged into nine groups that share similar attributes. This article focuses on two of these groups: root operations involving examination only and root operations that define other objectives.

Root Operations Involving Examination Only

This group of operations includes: 

  • Inspection
  • Map

Inspection—Root Operation J

Inspection is defined as visually and/or manually exploring a body part. Visual exploration may be performed with or without optical instrumentation. Manual exploration may be performed directly or through intervening body layers.

Read more.

September Journal of AHIMA

Journal of AHIMAThe August issue of ICD-Ten highlighted the results of an AHIMA survey regarding preparation for ICD-10 implementation. The results of that survey indicated that over half of respondents stated they have yet to begin preparing for the October 2013 implementation deadline. September’s Journal of AHIMA features a more in-depth look at those results, with graphical representation and analysis by the Journal’s Chris Dimick.  The September Journal also contains additional information on budgeting for ICD-10 (excerpted in the August ICD-10 newsletter), and a to-do list for inpatient coders. Visit the Journal of AHIMA Web site for the complete survey analysis, and access to other ICD-10 information.


Question of the Month

AHIMA would like to hear from you! What are the most important questions you face as ICD-10 implementation approaches?

Help educate fellow colleagues by sharing challenges from your workplace. E-mail your question by October 5 for possible inclusion in the October issue of ICD-TEN. One pertinent question will be October's "Featured FAQ," with an answer provided from an AHIMA ICD-10 expert!

AHIMA is also interested in gathering case studies regarding what your organization is doing to prepare for ICD-10 implementation. They need not be formal case studies, but should include steps your organization has already taken, steps planned for the near and distant future, what business areas are getting involved, and any other pertinent information.

Email questions of the month or relevant case studies to jeremy.joseph@ahima.org.

Featured FAQ

Q: How will software vendors manage to implement ICD-10-CM and ICD-10- PCS within their software?

A: Many major software vendors have indicated that they have already made provisions for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS and need only a reasonable implementation schedule to make the transition. Several vendors already have experience with this process since they have worked with other countries that have implemented ICD-10.

View more ICD-10 FAQs.

AHIMA Academy Trains the Trainers on ICD-10-CM/PCS

Planning to educate new coders and establish new electronic, documentation, and process systems? Are you the point guard for your organization and require early, in-depth knowledge of ICD-10? The AHIMA Academy has various methods to help coding professionals in all areas of the profession become proficient in coding with the ICD-10-CM/PCS coding systems. The academy also prepares attendees to train other coding professionals in those systems.

The AHIMA Academy includes a combination of two online courses (self-paced) and three days of face-to-face training. The online courses provide basic training in ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS and are required to be completed prior to the workshop. The three-day workshop focuses on engaging the trainer with in-class intermediate and advanced ICD-10-CM/PCS coding exercises, while modeling training techniques. After successful completion of both the online and face-to-face training portions, attendees may complete an assessment in order to receive an AHIMA Trainer Certificate.

The AHIMA Academy for ICD-10, Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding, will be held on:

Non-Inpatient Coders Offered Unique Training on ICD-10-CM

Long-term care, physician office and home health coders face unique challenges in training on ICD-10-CM. While large scale hospital systems might be able to afford sending several coders to training workshops, smaller facilities usually can only send a select few representatives for training, who then return and share the information.

Coders in long term care, physician offices and home health seeking train-the-trainer programs are the focus of a new AHIMA educational session, “AHIMA Academy for ICD-10, Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis Coding.”

This dynamic training program focuses on material for all ICD-10-CM coders, and teaches coding professionals ICD-10-CM coding system proficiency while instructing them about training other professionals in the system. Attendees can expect a combination of one online course (self-paced) and one-and-a-half (1½) days of face-to-face training. The online course provides basic training in ICD-10-CM and must be completed prior to the workshop. The workshop engages the trainer with in-class, intermediate and advanced ICD-10-CM coding exercises while modeling training techniques.

The AHIMA Academy for ICD-10, Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis Coding, will be held November 8-9, in Chicago, IL.

Take Part in the AHIMA Member Referral Initiative

Participate in the 2010 AHIMA member referral program and share the benefits of AHIMA membership with colleagues for a chance to win prizes, including a $1,000 American Express gift card.

Click here for more information.

Contribute to the ICD-10 Implementation CoP

Did you know there is an ICD-10 Implementation Community of Practice? Visit here to view community announcements, FAQs, resources, and more. Participate in the community discussions by posting a thread or commenting on another post. The Communities of Practice are a benefit of AHIMA membership. Not a member? Join now.

Transitioning to ICD-10-CM/PCS: The Essential Guide to General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs)

Transitioning to ICD-10-CM/PCSKathy Giannangelo, MA, RHIA, CCS, CPHIMS, FAHIMA

Coming October 2010!

Transitioning to ICD-10-CM/PCS: The Essential Guide to General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) is an introduction to the general purpose translation tool created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with assistance from both the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Users of ICD-9-CM coded data—including coding professionals, HIM professionals, data managers and analysts, health statistics analysts, informatics professionals, auditors, and consultants—need a clear path in their transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS. Transitioning to ICD-10-CM/PCS: The Essential Guide to General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) covers all the critical GEMs-related information needed to assist these individuals with data conversion in one handy manual, ideal for both small and large projects.

Typical projects where an understanding of the GEMs and how they should be utilized is needed:

  • When translating lists of codes, code tables, or other coded data.
  • When converting a system or application containing ICD-9-CM codes.
  • When creating a “one-to-one” applied mapping between code sets that will be used in an ongoing way to translate records or other coded data.
  • When studying the differences in meaning between the ICD-9-CM and ICD-10/PCS.

Includes information on:

  • Why GEMs are needed
  • The types of GEMs available
  • How the GEMs should be interpreted
  • A review of applied mappings
  • Best practices for GEM use


Order the Transitioning to ICD-10-CM/PCS: The Essential Guide to General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) here.



ICD-TEN is published twelve times a year by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), 233 N. Michigan Ave., 21st Floor, Chicago, IL 60601-5809.

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Copyright © 2010 by the American Health Information Management Association. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

September 2010



Ingenix can help you use the transition to ICD-10 to your greatest advantage. With Ingenix consulting services, technology, and data, you can begin identifying impacts and developing plans for an efficient, effective, and compliant conversion. Find out more at icd-10prepared.com or by calling 866-427-6840.




AHA Coding Clinic Audio Conference Series broadcasts Applying ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines to Key Coding Clinic Cases: Circulatory, Respiratory and Musculoskeletal System on November 10.  Presented by AHA Central Office --the official U.S. Clearinghouse on medical coding for the proper use of the ICD-9-CM classification.



September 30-
October 2

AHIMA Academy for ICD-10
Orlando, FL

October 28
ICD-10-PCS: Bridging the Gap in Anatomy and Physiology
(audio seminar)

November 8-9
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10
Chicago, IL

November 10
ICD-10-CM/PCS Transition: Fundamentals of General Equivalent Maps
(virtual meeting)

November 18-20
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10
Denver, CO

November 18
Coding Clinic 2010: A Closer Look
(audio seminar)

December 7
2011 Procedure Code Updates
(audio seminar)

December 16
CY11 CMS OPPS Updates
(audio seminar)

View a complete listing of all AHIMA events and audio seminars/webinars.

Upcoming AHIMA Convention & Exhibit Dates and Locations

September 25–30, 2010
Orlando, FL

October 1–6, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT

Online Courses

ICD-10-CM Overview: Deciphering the Code

ICD-10-PCS Overview: Deciphering the Code

Recorded Audio Seminars, Webinars Available

ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS: Prepare for Tomorrow, Today!

ICD-10-CM/PCS Impact Assessment

Preparing to Implement ICD-10-CM/PCS

Curriculum Approval to Accommodate ICD-10-CM/PCS

Transitional Instructional Design to Accommodate ICD-10-CM/PCS

HIM Marketplace

Visit The HIM Marketplace for
ICD-10 Help

The HIM Marketplace is a comprehensive, centralized resource that lets consumers locate providers of HIM-related goods and services, and vice versa. The site’s visitor-friendly interface includes:

  • an interactive search engine that permits you to search for vendors located five to 500 miles from your location
  • a downloadable widget members/customers can use to link directly to The HIM Marketplace from their computer
  • an interactive form that easily enables you to send requests for information to featured vendors

Find mapping tool solutions, HIM systems, Web-based applications, equipment, and much more at The HIM Marketplace.

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Answers, support, and career advice are available through this well-established professional network. AHIMA members enjoy a wide continuum of benefits:

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The Communities of Practice is a benefit of AHIMA membership. If you are already a member, your user name is your AHIMA member ID including the initial zero(s). For information on becoming a member, click here.

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