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by Michael Alan Meyer, DO, CCS, CPC, CPCI, AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer and Ambassador

In last week’s article, we looked at ICD-10-CM coding conventions and what is new for medical coding, data analyses and their effect on medical billing software. Click on this link for the ANSWER to last week’s Challenge Question!

More Codes with Higher Specificity

With ICD-10-CM, there are more codes and more details in the code descriptions, which equates to higher medical code specificity. With higher specificity, the coder must be able to abstract the most appropriate medical terms from the patient record in order to accurately match code descriptions to the record. This isn’t anything new that the coder doesn’t do with ICD-9-CM, however, it is a slightly higher level of medical coding abstraction since code descriptions are more detailed in ICD-10-CM. For some coders, this may require a review of anatomy (structure), physiology (function), pathology (disease) and pathophysiology (disease function) (AP&PP).

AP & PP Resources

There are many excellent free resources available on the Internet to brush up on your AP&PP. Resources are listed below in the reference list. Pathophysiology is often a challenge since it involves understanding the differences in disease cause versus its manifestations. You-tube videos produced by medical providers are often useful for focused areas where more in-depth understanding of diagnoses and treatments are needed. Many of the videos are 3-D and the enhanced graphics facilitates learning, such as these on hypertension; Effects of Hypertension, or Pheochromocytoma.

Take the self-test below. If you are comfortable with your AP&PP foundation, then do no more, and begin to prepare and learn ICD10-CM/PCS for the October 1, 2014 implementation. However, if you identify a gap, then jump in and get your feet wet with a good AP&PP review!

This week’s Challenge Questions #5: Self-Test for AP&PP


MedlinePlus (2012) Health Topics, Anatomy, Drugs, Supplements, Videos and Tools. National Institute of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/anatomy.html

Merk. (2012) The MERK Manuals Online for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/index.html

The Inner Body. (2012) Anatomy. http://www.innerbody.com/htm/body.html


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