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Change Is Coming to MIBC: ICD-10-CM to Arrive in 2014

Change is part of life. It’s also part of health care. To keep up with changes in the industry, health care professionals must be ready to embrace progress as it occurs. For example, medical insurance billing and coding (MIBC) specialists and other health care providers are currently being asked to upgrade to an expanded and more accurate way of coding diseases and procedures.

In October 2014, the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) is scheduled to replace the decades-old ICD-9 as the bible of American medical insurance billing and coding. Based on standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO), ICD-10-CM is designed to provide medical professionals with a more comprehensive way to identify diseases and conditions. The improvements are expected to:

  • Increase accuracy
  • Save time and money
  • Reduce fraud
  • Provide stronger statistical foundations for disease researchers

ICD-9 system has been the industry standard since the late 1970s. It uses just three, four or five digits to code conditions and procedures. The ICD-10-CM system, developed in the early 1990s, uses as many as seven digits. So while ICD-9 could classify only 13,000 diseases and 4,000 procedures, ICD-10-CM can describe a combined 140,000 diseases and procedures. With medical knowledge and technology expanding rapidly, most health care professionals believe this upgrade is long overdue.

ICD-10-CM Provides More Information

The most obvious difference between ICD-10-CM and ICD-9 is the amount of detailed information the new system provides. With more digits available, MIBC specialists and other health care professionals can now specify the patient’s:

  • Purpose for visiting the doctor
  • Medical history
  • Symptoms
  • Current medical condition
  • Specific location of injury or area of concern
  • Instruments used for treatment
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment plan

Industry leaders believe that with more information coded, health care providers, insurance companies and other health care industry professionals will be able to deliver a higher level of service, make fewer errors, and better control costs.

How Health Care Professionals Must Adapt

To take full advantage of ICD-10-CM, MIBC specialists and other health care professionals are being asked to make a number of significant changes prior to October 2014. These include:

  • Most billing policies and procedures will have to be changed across the board.
  • Code books and styles will have to be changed and expanded to accommodate all the new codes.
  • MIBC specialists and others will have to enhance their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and medical procedures so they can more accurately code to the new standards.
  • MIBC specialists and others will have to adapt to new insurance company forms and other paperwork created to reflect the ICD-10-CM system.
  • Insurance companies will need to develop new requirements for ordering and reporting services, and MIBC specialists will have to adapt accordingly.

How Everest Is Preparing Students for Change

As one of America’s leading schools for training MIBC specialists, Everest is making sure its current and future students are ready to upgrade to ICD-10-CM in 2014. Currently, about 25 percent of coding training is done to the ICD-10-CM standards. This percentage will rapidly increase as the October 2014 deadline nears. Everest is also upgrading its anatomy textbooks and ICD-10-CM costing reference books in preparation for the changeover. (Specifics vary from campus to campus.)

Fortunately, recently graduated MIBC students -- and even experienced MIBC professionals -- who are comfortable with ICD-9 should have a fairly easy time upgrading to ICD-10-CM, according to most experts. The basic rules of medical insurance billing and coding have not changed, just the level of specificity. Once you get used to the new forms and requirements, it should only be a matter of weeks before you’re back to coding at full speed.

Programs and schedules vary by campus.

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For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at