By David Abolafia
As your practice is preparing for the impending ICD-10 changes, you might have many questions concerning mental health billing procedures and software requirements. To help you get the answers you need, we have compiled all questions that were asked during our recent webinar ‘ICD-10 | 100 Times More Complicated,’ along with the presenter’s responses. Feel free to add any new questions in the comment section below.
Q: I have a question about the top 50 ICD-9 codes we use, and doing the crosswalk to ICD-10. Where is the best resource for being able to do that?
A: CMS GEMS would be one website that you can use; that’s CMS’s GEMS System, which is the General Equivalent System that they use — the General Equivalent Mapping System that they use to translate ICD-9 to ICD-10.
Another good site for you is AAPC.com. Click on their ICD-10 link and they have a feature where you type in our ICD-9 and it returns the equivalent ICD-10 code.
GEMS prompts you to choose the lateralities and origins, whereas AAPC is more one-to-one, but GEMS is really what most systems are basing their crosswalk from, and GEMS is built and maintained by CMS, the CDC, and AMA.
Q: I’ve done all my conversions from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and I’ve done the left and right conversions. We’ve changed some of our mental health documentation so it’s more specific about mechanism of injury — the when, where, the why and the how. What else is there really to do?
A: You really want to make sure that how the practice is supposed to document the guidelines for mental health documentation are clearly outlined in your policies and procedures manual. And that means adding in specificity and laterality. The manual should also have references as to where you seek the information; your reference point would be to CMS.
Q: If I want to take a coding course to get certified, do I need to be certified on ICD-9 and ICD-10?
A: Right now, you have to certify for both, but after October 1, you only have to certify for ICD-10.