Dates You Need the Books

New codes set books are a necessary annual acquisition for physician groups and hospitals. In order for medical coders to avoid denials, only current coding manuals should be used.   In our constantly changing environment, doctors face new health conditions every day. Medical technologies and pharmacological advances are continuous. New codes are released each year to reflect improved understanding of disease and treatment. In response to scientific progress in curing diseases, nature creates new viruses. This endless process requires creating new codes and revising or deleting old ones every year.

Professional coders need to know about these changes to show high performance in the workplace. The financial success of the medical practice is largely in the coder’s hands.  That is why coder needs to have all available tools to code efficiently.

The ICD-9 code updates come into effect Oct. 1 each year. The codes are maintained and released jointly by National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). It makes sense to order them in advance to have them on the desk right on time. Furthermore, many publishers offer early bird sale pricing.

The Editorial Panel of the American Medical Association meets several times every year to discuss new codes. The last symposium takes place at the beginning of November and the Procedural codes are released a little bit later, in the middle of the month. They scheduled for implementation on Jan 1. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announces new and modified HCPCS Level II codes at the end of December. Codes come into effect January 1, at the same time as CPT codes. Every quarter CMS posts updates on its website. These files contain new information about HCPCS procedure and modifier codes, coverage and pricing data.

When ordering your books, expect 3 separate shipments: ICD-9 in September, to start using codes in October.  CPT ships in November and HCPCS ships in December, to prepare you for the new code year that begins Jan. 1.

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