Do You Really Need ICD-10 Training?

By Ariel Weeks, ML Revenue Cycle Director

No. You do not really need ICD-10 training. Did you get ICD-10 Training? ICD-10 codes are diagnosing codes just like ICD-10… only there are three times as many.

With that in mind, how do you deal with ICD-10? Do you have them all memorized… uh… NO. Sure… there are a few you use all the time and those you know by heart, but how long did that take? How many years did you use the same ICD 9 again and again until it came to you easily?

ICD-10 is not like math that you can learn a process. Like 1+1=2. The tutorials introduce you to the specialty code sets. They cannot train you nor do they intend to train you how to memorize ICD-10.

There IS a structure to ICD 10… you could memorize it and learn how to create codes but it will literally take you 10x as long as it would to just google “ICD-10 code for skin tag.”

If you’ve got unlimited time to sit around and diagnose your patients, click here.

For the rest of us, we’re just going to have to look up codes when we need them:

  • From your EHR/EMR
  • From a quick code reference sheet like these:

Top ICD-10 Codes for General Surgery

Top ICD-10 Codes for OB GYN

Top ICD-10 Codes for Internal Medicine

***Don’t see your specialty? Let us know and we’ll forward it to you.

  • From a re-designed superbill. (see instructions below)
  • From a phone app like ICD Sherpa.
  • From the ICD-10 codebook. Order here.
  • From a free website like
  • From a highly intuitive, specialty paid website like Find-A-Code/Build-A-Code. Free trial here.
  • From the free GEM crosswalks available in a spreadsheet on the CMS website. Find it here.
  • From the ICD-10 to ICD-10 coding conversion tool on the ML Medical Billing Website. Click here.

Are you using a Superbill with ICD-10 codes?
While the ICD-10s might only take up the back page or half of the front page, the ICD-10 conversions take up 3x as much space. You are probably not using most of the ICD-10s on your superbill. You will need to eliminate 60% of them and we can convert those for you into a new superbill. This option requires you already have these in electronic form in a format you like or you will have to use ML Medical Billing standard format. In addition, we will need to make some space for you to write-in the ICD 10s you will have to look up; from your reference sheet, your book, your phone app or online.

Are you using an EMR?
If your EMR is cloud-based, there is already an ICD-10 conversion tool in your EMR/EHR. Ask your EMR Technical support to direct you to this functionality. We promise IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK! If you haven’t updated your software in several years, you will need to in order to be in compliance. The only headache is that you will probably need to create a new most frequently used or favorites list for ICD-10

Are we using Kareo for you?
Ask us for your personalized list of top 100 ICD-10 conversions.

What can ML do for me?
We can provide you with some of your top conversions and suggest others for you when you are outside the correct FAMILY of codes.

What do I need to know about staying in the “FAMILY” of codes?
If you are taking a chest X-ray, don’t use a code identifying a different anatomical location (for example). If we are billing for you on Kareo, we can easily take your ICD-10s, convert them to ICD-10, choose the most unspecific code and verify medical necessity is supported.

Watch a Video of the Conversion in Kareo Billing

For office visits, there is no need to be concerned with a “FAMILY” of codes.

You can see your patients for anything under the sun; including but not limited to:

W21.12XA Struck by tennis racquet, initial encounter

W56.11xA Bitten by a sea lion, initial encounter

W61.43 Pecked by a turkey

W17.1XXA Fall into a manhole, initial encounter

What can’t ML do for me?
Diagnose your patients. Nothing has changed. We cannot diagnose your patients for you under ICD-10 either.

The new codes DO require a greater knowledge of anatomy and physiology. While we know some anatomy, especially in our chosen specialties, these codes are clinical in nature, very specific and impossible in most cases for those without a medical degree and without face-to-face patient interaction.


The New Coding Concepts in ICD-10 that You Must Document

  • Laterality or left versus right
  • Initial or subsequent encounter for injuries
  • Trimester of pregnancy
  • Details about diabetes and related complications
  • Types of fractures
  • Severity of Illness
  • Body part affected
  • Etiology of disease

Does this mean you should NOT get training in the future? Absolutely not! You will benefit from training… but you don’t need it. The secret to ICD-10 is simple. You will have to look the code up exactly as you look up your ICD-10 codes.