Keeping in touch with the latest in medical billing and coding is important
If you went to medical billing and coding school, and are now working in the field, you will find that as time passes, it is important to stay abreast of changes that may affect your work, and to continue to further your education. What are some resources to help you stay current? When will you need to learn ICD-10? Where can you get continuing education units? All of these questions are important to consider as you build your career.
Below are some resources that are designed to help keep people in the field of medical billing and coding informed about the current practices, requirements, and regulations in the industry.
1. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a thorough website that contains a great deal of information for people who went to medical billing and coding school. Here are some of the pages that you might find to be helpful:
- ICD-9 Code Lookup
Need to look up an ICD-9 code? This database is simple to use. Just type in keywords related to the diagnosis you are seeking, and a list of possible matches and their codes will pop up. http://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/staticpages/icd-9-code-lookup.aspx
- ICD-9-CM Diagnosis and Procedure Codes: Abbreviated and Full Code Titles
CMS provides downloadable files of ICD-9-CM diagnosis and procedure codes. These files include both the full and abbreviated titles. The files are available for free at this webpage: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD9ProviderDiagnosticCodes/codes.html
- Transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10.
Even though the implementation date for ICD-10 has now been pushed back to October 1, 2015, it is recommended that organizations begin thinking about the transition. CMS’s webpage provides a wealth of materials that can help organizations make the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
2. National Center for Health Statistics/Centers for Disease Control
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are the U.S. governmental agencies responsible for overseeing all changes and modifications to the ICD-9-CM. The CDC/NCHS webpage includes access to ICD-9-CM files, as well as addenda, conversion table, and guidelines. You can access this material on the following webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd9cm.htm
3. Life After Medical Billing and Coding School: Obtaining Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and other educational opportunities
In order to stay marketable and effective as a professional medical biller or coder, you will need to keep up with the latest coding updates, compliance rules, and government regulations. Finding the right continuing education opportunities is a great way to stay current. There are a number of professional organizations and associations that offer Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) for medical billers and coders. You might want to explore the websites of these organizations to see what sorts of programs they offer.
American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC)
American Association of Medical Assistants
American Health Information Management Association
American Association of Medical Audit Specialists
National Academy of Ambulance Coding
National Cancer Registrars Association
Like many fields within the healthcare system, medical billing and coding is constantly evolving. Coding systems have to keep pace with the changes in the medical field. Reporting systems change as new technologies emerge, and regulations change as new laws are passed. After you finish medical billing and coding school, it is important to stay up-to-date with practices, guidelines, and regulations, so that you can serve your employer well and continue to advance your own career. We hope the resources in this article are useful to you as you pursue your career.
This article was provided by the Harris School of Business. Located at eight campuses through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, the Harris School provides career-focused training in a number of career areas. Key programs at the Harris School include medical assistant training, dental assistant training, medical billing and coding training, massage therapy training, and pharmacy technician training. Contact the Harris School by filling out our form to request more information.