3 Reasons Coders Should Review the ICD-10-CM Codes and Coding Guidelines Annually

December 6th, 2022 - Aimee Wilcox
Categories:   Coding  

Each year, CMS publishes the ICD-10-CM code updates, which include new, revised, and deleted codes and their descriptions. These codes are reportable as of October 1st and those that have been deleted are no longer reportable as of the same date. Also each year, the various organizations that provide various coding tools or education also provide webinars, publish articles or post in blogs about the updates with an overview of the many changes. 

While attendance to these events often provides the needed continuing education units (CEUs) needed to maintain coding credentials, they often only highlight the changes but don’t really dig into the details that are needed to know in order to truly understand how to apply these codes. 

Here are three benefits of digging deeper into the code changes and coding guidelines: 

  1. Become the Expert. Professional athletes work their bodies regularly to maintain a level of conditioning that allows them to perform at their peak. Coding professionals must maintain a level of expertise in the basics of coding as well as any specialty they may deal with. By taking the time to review the guidelines carefully and taking opportunities to write articles, blogs, or even update compliance manuals and training materials internally, you will maintain a level of expertise that others will be drawn to. 
  2. Expand Your Knowledge Across Multiple Specialties. When reviewing the various code changes, take the time to look up the diseases you are not familiar with to better understand what they are and whether or not they will be reported in your organization. Maintaining a level of overall knowledge across all specialties simply makes your skillset even more valuable and demonstrates a willingness to extend yourself above and beyond the basic requirements for most coders.
  3. Become An Educator. When codes are added, revised, or deleted, changes to the EHR system have to be updated, coding education and documentation guidance also must be updated, and of course, updated training must take place across all those who deal with ICD-10-CM codes. Studying the updates and finding ways to incorporate that knowledge into your organization can put you in a position where others turn to you to provide education and training within your organization. This not only boosts your level of experience, but also allows you to become a valuable resource at your organization. One simple example may be to write up a simple summary or cheatsheet that can be handed out to coders to help them transition to the newest coding updates. 


For additional information on the ICD-10-CM Coding Guideline Updates for fiscal year 2023,  join us for our next webinar, "Current Year, 2023 ICD-10-CM Coding Guideline Updates" scheduled for Thursday, December 8, 2023 @ 10:15 AM PT, 11:15 AM MT, 12:15 PM CT, 1:15 PM ET. Click HERE to register for this FREE webinar.


Disclaimer: The above article is the opinion of the author(s) and should not be interpreted by providers/payers as official guidance. For any questions about the content of this article, please contact the author(s).

About the Author: Aimee Wilcox is a medical coding, billing, and auditing consultant, author, and educator with more than 30 years of clinical and administrative experience in healthcare, coding, billing, and auditing. Medicine, including coding and billing, is a constantly changing field full of challenges and learning and she loves both. She believes there are talented medical professionals who, with proper training and excellent information, can continue to practice the art of healing while feeling secure in their billing and reimbursement for such care.


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