November 25, 2009 | | Comments 10
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Insight into AAPC code translator tool

magnifying-glassGeneral Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) were the creation of work completed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CMS, the American Health Information Management Association, the American Hospital Association, and 3M Health Information Systems in an attempt to convert codes between ICD-9 and ICD-10. Most recently, NCHS published the translation dictionary for diagnoses. Similarly, CMS published a translation dictionary for procedures. Collectively, these are called GEMs. This effort created a national version to ensure consistency in national data.

GEMs can be thought of as two-way translation dictionaries, in which diagnoses and procedure codes can be translated to and from ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/ICD-10-PCS. The translations go in both directions so that it is possible to look up a code to find out what it means according to the concept and structure used by the other coding system. The forward and backward mapping GEMs aren’t mirror images of each other because the translation alternatives are based on the meaning of the code you are looking up.

The GEMS are set up as “flat files,”which are data files that contain records with no structural relationships. Unless you are very tech savvy, they are difficult to work with. However, the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) has developed the Code Translator tool, which takes these files and very simply allows you to map both forward and backward from ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM, meaning this conversion tool allows you to convert ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes or vice versa. The tool is free, and you don’t have to be an AAPC member to use it.

Take care with how you use the Code Translator or the GEMs. While the mapping is great to help you narrow down your search, it cannot be used without a coding book, which you should consult to confirm codes. In many instances, a particular ICD-9-CM code may map to several ICD-10-CM code choices, requiring you to narrow down and sort through the results. Also, with the abundance of ICD-10-CM codes, there are many that just don’t map from ICD-9-CM codes.

The files are great for working with physicians to help them determine which codes to migrate to from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. The GEMs also help take the chore out of looking up multiple variables until you become more familiar with the new code system. Keep in mind to check the new guidelines whenever mapping any codes.

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Filed Under: Coding

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About the Author: Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPC-I, CGSC, COBGC, CPEDC, CENTC, is vice president of business and member development for the American Academy of Professional Coders.

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  1. The tool of AAPC is very good. It helps in understanding the new codes and good way for learning ICD 10

  2. Thats right, i have gone through it. Its very simple to use. But accuracy i doubt, however AAPC is always accurate as they are leaders in Coding feild.

  3. Also try http://www.findacode.com, you will find very good resources for the codes and you can also get the ICD 10 PCS codes.

  4. I have developed an ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM forward and backward mappint tool at http://icd10cmcode.com. It does what the AAPC code translator tool does, but in addition it is able to translate codes that have the combination flag activated in the target system. As an example, the AAPC returns no results for ICD-9 code 038.12 – Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus septicemia. Using my tool, 038.12 returns two ICD-10 codes: (A41.0 – Sepsis due to Staphylococcus aureus & Z16 – Infection with drug resistant microorganisms) that BOTH convey the meaning of the original ICD-9 code (at least in part…).

    Hope you’ll find it useful.

  5. Code translators are every where, what i see is, they are just takeing the GEM files and uploading in to databse, i dont see any value addition, Any comments, pls

    http://www.icd10codersacademy.com

  6. ICD 10 CAN BE CONVERTED IN THE MCE WEDSITE I WOULD LIKE TO JOIN THE STAFF FOR GI QUESTIONS I HAVE BEEN WORKING IN THE GI FIELD FOR OVER 10 YEARS 15 YEARS FOR INTERNAL MEDICINE 3 YEARS CARDIOLOGY AND PULMONARY LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ANY QUESTIONS ANSWERED OR MY OPINION ON ANY OF THESE CODING MATTERS

    DIANE ATKINSON

  7. I appreciate your efforts for writing a good a article for Readers. Medical Transcription is simply putting it is typing out a recorded voice message of a doctor. These medical records are necessary for communication between health care professionals, to aid and advance the science of medicine and to comply with laws and serve in support of an insurance claim.For Doing it Medical Transcription Training is necessary their are many softwares and Hardware is required one of Them is Medical Transcription Foot Pedal , Amplifiers , Head Phones.For JOBS their is very Less Websites Such as MT Jobs.in . After Sending Resume to Website They call back to the person and tell about Opening in MT Companies. Their are Many Medical Transcription Companies & Training Institutes Who Provide this type Training.Their is a List of fraud companies who do scam in Outsourcing Industry. Their are many companies and training institutes are working in different parts of India . Medical transcription in hyderabad are having good training schools who are giving quality training to their students But Still the Major Companies of Medical transcription in Delhi. Capital For Working in heath care industry is not so much issue but to understand Most Important thing is about hipaa medical transcription. One thing which is always in Demand By Doctors is dictation server or also known as Toll Free Number by this Doctors can Dictate their Dictation by Phone Or Mobile.Many Peoples having Queries regarding How to Start Medical Transcription Business and earn from it. For getting success in this business person have understand fact about time delivering and Be on commitments .Most important is to understand the need of US based Doctors and their working.

  8. There are many such institutes who provide better training in medical transcription and they provide with the best possible training.

  9. The AAPC tool is very good. Fast and Reliable.

    http://www.nhfas.com

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  1. From ICD-10 Watch: “Insight into AAPC code translator tool” | AAPC News on Dec 7, 2009

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