Strategies to Master and Become Perfect in ICD-10-CM Coding
Strategies to Master and Become Perfect in ICD-10-CM Coding
Compliance Specialists - Optometry has expertise in compliant billing and provides medical billing solutions as well as optometric billing services.

The revised and updated codes for the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, and Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) have become effective from October 1, 2021. All optometry and ophthalmology providers are required to code with respect to ICD-10-CM updates for 2022 to avoid any delays or discrepancies in the claim processing.

In this blog, you will get insightful tips for improving your ICD-10 coding skills and coding medical reports confidently without any errors. This will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes and generate high returns for your optometry practice on a consistent basis.

Why are ICD-10 Codes Important?

The ICD-10 code system provides precise and updated procedure codes to facilitate the implementation of quality healthcare and ensure fair reimbursement policies. By accurately capturing public health diseases, these codes hold significant importance in research and development.

ICD-10-CM codes are beneficial in reducing medication errors, improving treatment options, enhancing payment systems, and cutting down treatment and claim costs. This way, ICD-10 codes play a crucial role in refining the overall efficiency of practices by streamlining their optometry billing and coding functions.

Following are a few strategies and tactics that can help you become proficient in ICD-10-CM coding.

Do Not Code Any Signs and Symptoms

Any signs or symptoms are considered to be a part of a disease. Hence, symptoms should never be coded. Only severe diseases or disorders should be coded. While reporting such a disease or disorder, all the signs and symptoms are also included in the ICD-10 code of the main disease. Understanding the severity of diseases is thus important while carrying out ICD 10 coding.

Coding for Acute and Chronic Conditions

As per the ICD 10 coding guidelines, when both acute and chronic conditions occur, optometry coders are supposed to report both together. The guidelines also state that while reporting acute and chronic conditions, the acute code must be sequenced first. The acute and chronic conditions can be described as follows -

Acute - Diseases with severe symptoms and short course

Chronic - Diseases with slow progression and long duration

Code Only for Confirmed Diagnosis

There are many instances wherein a condition may be ruled out as per the documentation. But according to the ICD 10 coding guidelines, only confirmed diagnosis should be reported for outpatient coding. As suspected, compatible, etc are not considered to be confirmed diagnoses, they should not be reported.

Be Proactive With Code Updates

Reviewing and understanding ICD 10 code updates is essential in order to prevent any possibilities of coding denials. Not keeping track of the coding updates can lead to significant revenue problems for optometry practices. Based on the coding updates, coders must make changes to the practice management software to ensure the process stays seamless.


CS Eye is a standout optometry billing and coding service provider. We have seasoned experts that can help you efficiently handle all billing and coding challenges and stay on top of the ICD-10-CM code updates. Enjoy the benefits of clean, error-free claims and watch your practice’s financial health grow rapidly with CS Eye. Contact us to know more about our service offerings.