Although it's tempting to think otherwise, planning for the transition to the ICD-10-CM code sets for outpatient diagnostic coding still should be at or near the top of family physicians' "to do" lists.
That's the opening message participating physicians will hear during a free AAFP webinar titled "ICD-10: Get Started and Be Ready" that is scheduled for April 23 from 1-2 p.m. CDT. Registration for the event(transformed.adobeconnect.com) is now open.
Webinar host Cynthia Hughes, C.P.C., told AAFP News that she plans to emphasize that the ICD-10 deadline delay, which was wrapped into the Protecting Access to Medicare Act signed by President Obama on April 1, allows more time for physicians to prepare for and test ICD-10 readiness with their vendors and payers.
"That's the important thing about this delay," said Hughes, noting that physicians should now have adequate time to do all that is needed to be ready by the new Oct. 1, 2015, deadline.
"However, if physicians and vendors stop preparing and they are not able to test, then these extra months will be wasted time," she added.
Webinar attendees will appreciate the expertise Hughes brings to the presentation. She is a certified family practice coder and also is certified by the American Health Information Management Associations as an official ICD-10 trainer.
She serves as a consulting editor for several medical coding publications and is on the coding review panel for Family Practice Management. In her tenure as a coding and compliance expert with the AAFP, Hughes answered hundreds of tough coding questions from family physicians around the country.
During the upcoming event, Hughes intends to touch on topics not covered in an earlier webinar she hosted in 2013.
"In this new webinar, I'm going to explore the documentation elements that support diagnoses most common to family medicine," said Hughes. Asthma and diabetes will serve as perfect examples, she said.
In addition, Hughes will point out AAFP resources that can help physicians get ready for ICD-10. Specifically, she'll highlight the AAFP's ICD-10 timeline document and the ICD-9 to ICD-10 Referential Flash Cards.
Hughes will provide extended time for questions from participants. The webinar will be archived for later viewing.
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