One thing I’ve realized since I started teaching coding, is that many people struggle with the coding guidelines. I don’t know if it’s just that people don’t like studying the guidelines or maybe they’re just not sure how important it is to be familiar with the guidelines in order to be a good coder. Or maybe it’s just overwhelming to look at and see how many guidelines there are. Now, I’m not saying that you have to memorize anything, but here are a few things to keep in mind.
You need to:
- Know where the guidelines are in the ICD-10-CM book
- Know the general layout of the guidelines
- Understand how to apply the guidelines.
This takes practice. You will not learn the guidelines overnight. You can spend a little time each day (or any day that you plan on studying) just to refresh your memory. You can also highlight things and make notes in your book. Eventually, you will become more comfortable navigating the book and learn the guidelines.
So how well do you know the guidelines?
Here is a practice True/False ICD-10-CM coding question based on the guidelines.
Do you know what the answer is? What page/part of the guidelines did you find the answer?
Scroll down for the answer….
The answer to this question is False. This is because the guidelines tell us that External Cause codes can not be first-listed. These codes just give additional info, but can not be the first diagnosis code. (This is in section I.B.19.a of the guidelines)
This question is one of the questions I go over in the ICD-10-CM medical coding study groups. I spend about 10 to 15 minutes per session with students just going over the guidelines before we get into any actual coding questions. This is because understanding the guidelines is the basis for understanding coding.
If you’re currently a medical coding student, and would like more help with ICD-10-CM coding, consider signing up. You will be a part of 4 group sessions, and each is 90 minutes and we meet through Zoom. It is $59. GO HERE for more info.
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