CPT and ICD-9 Coding: The Right Tools for the Job


An enhanced version of our popular pocket guide and the annual update of another favorite reference add power to the FPM Toolbox.

Fam Pract Manag. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(9):36.

If you open your own mail, you probably noticed that this issue of FPM was delivered in a plastic wrapper along with a freestanding version of our CME Quiz and two other valuable items – the FPM Pocket Guide to the 1997 Evaluation and Management (E/M) Documentation Guidelines and ICD-9 Codes for Family Medicine 2008–2009: The FPM Short List. (If someone else opened your mail and you don't know what we're talking about, find out what that person did with this good stuff.)

The FPM Pocket Guide

Developed to help ensure that office visits for established and new patients are documented and coded correctly, the pocket guide is FPM's most popular tool. Since its introduction in 1995, more than 30,000 copies have been purchased and more than 300,000 have been distributed in the pages of FPM. The pocket guide will continue to be available in the original design, with one version based on the 1995 documentation guidelines and another based on the 1997 guidelines. The enhanced version mailed with this issue incorporates several features that should continue to make the pocket guide a reader favorite for years to come:

  • The new guide is more compact, with a shape that fits better into the user's pocket.

  • It uses color to help organize key information.

  • It features valuable documentation tips.

  • It is printed on synthetic material that folds like paper but stands up to long-term use.

We hope you'll put it to use in your practice and let us know what you think.

ICD-9 Codes: The FPM Short List

ICD-9 Codes for Family Medicine 2008–2009: The FPM Short List, a reference to the diagnosis codes most common in family medicine, is another popular FPM tool. The list is organized using problem-oriented descriptors that make it easier to locate the codes you need. We've been updating and publishing it in the journal annually for more than 10 years, and it has an even bigger audience online as part of a collection of ICD-9 tools we publish on our Web site (check out https://www.aafp.org/fpm/icd9). This collection began with the FPM Short List and its counterpart, the FPM Long List, and over the years has grown to include a model superbill as well as a searchable database for personal digital assistant users that is available in Palm and Pocket PC formats. A version of the database for BlackBerry users is now available too. Developed this fall by QxMD using the FPM Long List, it can be downloaded free of charge at http://qxmd.com/icd9. We're always interested in tools that have the potential to make the difficult aspects of practice a little easier. If you have an idea for a tool that you would find useful or a tool you'd like to share, e-mail us at fpmedit@aafp.org.


Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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