ICD-10 to usher in new generation of tech-savvy medical coders

Shared by Radhika Narayanan | 31 145 0 | about 3 years ago

The transition to ICD-10 is already beginning to change the make-up of coding staffs.

While ICD-9 coders, aka Niners, tended to be predominantly middle-aged women unready or unwilling to learn the new ICD-10 codes, the next generation is poised to be younger, more gender diverse and tech savvy.

“We saw some Tenners hired a year ago before the delay was announced,” said Pauline O’Dowd, senior director with Chicago-based Huron Healthcare. “Some of the older coders delayed their retirement, while others left.”

The rationale among many ICD-9 coding veterans: Too much to learn, too late in life … might as well retire.

The difference in volume between ICD-9 and ICD-10 is staggering: 69,368 diagnosis codes and 87,000 procedure codes under 10, compared with 13,500 diagnosis codes and 4,000 procedure codes under 9.

A self-described Niner, Diane Rivers said if things progressed according to that script, she would have followed many of her colleagues out the door.

Instead, Rivers ended up becoming an expert in ICD-10.

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Categories ICD-10



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