Study Up on Roots, Syndromes for ICD-10 Startup Success

Posted on 23 Sep, 2015 |comments_icon 5|By Chris Boucher

Knowledge of medical terms is even more vital with new Dx coding system.

Everybody’s getting ready for the switch to ICD-10, and knowledge is power for practices making the transition.

Check it out: The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and Elsevier Revenue Cycle eLearning have posted FAQs on the most pressing ICD-10 topics. Take these points to heart when prepping for ICD-10, and look for more FAQs on this topic in future blog posts.

Q: Who has to use ICD-10 diagnosis codes?
A: Every insurer and healthcare provider covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) must use ICD-10 diagnosis codes, according to AHIMA. These codes are not just for use when you’re filing with Medicare or Medicaid.

Q: How will ICD-10 differ from ICD-9?
A: ICD-10 will add more than 100,000 new diagnosis and procedure codes, Elsevier reports. The new codes “will demand a high level of coder expertise in the areas of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and medical terminology,” Elsevier continues.

Q: What are the benefits of ICD-10?
A: ICD-10 data will lead to improved healthcare initiatives such as Meaningful Use, value-based purchasing, payment reform and quality reporting, according to AHIMA. Medicare and other insurers will use the new data culled from ICD-10 to “support research and public health reporting, and move to a payment system based on quality and outcomes,” AHIMA continues.

Q: What skills should I “brush up on” to prep for ICD-10?
A: According to Elsevier, providers that want an extra edge when ICD-10 arrives can prepare by studying:

  • Greek and Latin prefixes, suffixes and roots, “and combining forms used as the basis of most medical terms,” reports Elsevier;
  • Common medical abbreviations;
  • Eponyms and names of syndromes;
  • Alternative names and descriptions for diseases;
  • Adjectives, such as purulent and necrotic that ICD-10 uses as descriptors for diseases and disorders;
  • Terms that describe surgical techniques, such as resect, dissect, incise, excise, debride, etc.
  • Terms used to describe certain technologies and manufacturer names for tests, devices and procedures, according to Elsevier.


Chris Boucher

Chris Boucher has nearly 10 years of experience writing various newsletters and other products for The Coding Institute. His blog will cover several areas of coding and compliance, including CPT® coding, modifiers, HIPAA compliance and ICD-10 coding.

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