Unless your medical practice has been extraordinarily busy lately, there's a chance you've heard of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), which is "one of the biggest changes to hit health care," according to the American Medical Association. If your practice is extra-savvy, then it's likely that you've already created an action plan when it comes to training.

ICD-9 has been the standard set of data foundation for practices for decades. However, ICD-10 is going to create codes that are much more contemporary and encompass many more code sets. Although these changes are wide-sweeping, most of the medical coding and billing associated with the changes have already been implemented in most developed countries, so this is a huge step for American health care.

There are many ways that your practice can get started with updating your medical coding services, according to Physicians Practice:

Poll your office on ICD-10 knowledge
To get a rough idea of where your medical practice stands in terms of ICD-10's upcoming changes, be sure to poll staff and physicians on ICD and CPT coding so that you know where to start. This can help you determine the level of education your office needs.

Start from scratch
According to the source, all employees at the practice should be given a rundown of the basic ICD-10 details. After this is accomplished, you may need to hold topic-specific training depending on what facet of medical billing each employee is involved with. For example, several physicians will probably require instructions on clinical documentation improvement programs so that they can better understand ICD-10 code assignments.

Physicians have several training methods to choose from
Depending on your office workflow and budget, you have several ICD-10 training options from which to choose. Some of these may include audio conferences, web-based programs that can be self-directed or led by an instructor, a traditional classroom setting or self-learning programs.

Training options can also come from external organizations, internal information or a combination of these. There are several excellent resources you can implement from the American Hospital Association, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or the American Health Information Management Association, for example. However, you can also try online vendor training sessions or narrow down parameters that pertain directly to your practice.

The transition to ICD-10 is not an option for physicians – regardless of how big or small your practice is, you will need to prepare your office for these new changes in medical billing software in the near future for a smooth transition.