ICD-10-PCS Root Operations: the Power of the Groups

by Lynn Kuehn, MS, RHIA, CCS-P, FAHIMA

I love ICD-10-PCS!  ICD-10-PCS is a beautiful classification system, logical and robust.  But I know from years of teaching ICD-10-PCS that it can be challenging to learn.

I’ve heard coding managers say “I need to get my people more training!”  I would like to help clarify that to say “I need to get my people the right training so they can be successful.”

In ICD-10-PCS, mastering the root operations is critical.  Even if a coder knows the definition of the root operations, the training isn’t over. It is simply not enough for the coder to know the definitions and how to use the index and tables.

The Power of the Groups

A great way to really understand root operations is to understand the groups.  The groups contain root operations that are similar, allowing the subtle differences between individual root operations to become apparent.  An example of a group is “Root Operations that put in/put back or move some/all of a body part.”  There are a total of nine groups containing all 31 root operations.

By mastering the groups, a coder will understand the root operations in relationship to one another and how to identify them in the documentation.

The coder needs to know what the options are.  Is the procedure performed on a device or on a body part itself?  Is the procedure taking something out or moving it around?  What is the relationship between drainage and extraction?

A simple but very powerful tool to help coders understand root operations is the Libman Education ICD-10-PCS Root Operation Flash Cards.  I use them in training sessions with coders nationwide.  The flashcards can be purchased and used to help individual coders or groups to master root operations.  The flashcards are available for purchase here.

To learn about the power of the groups, watch the Libman Education video on YouTube that explains how to use the Libman Education ICD-10-PCS Flash Cards.

We can help you and your coders be successful and productive in ICD-10-PCS.  If you need more of the “right training” contact Libman Education to discuss your options.

About the Author

Lynn Kuehn is president of Kuehn Consulting, LLC, and a nationally recognized authority on ICD-10-PCS coding. Lynn was elected to the AHIMA Board of Directors, served as faculty for the original ICD-10 “Train-the-Trainers” program, and authored or co-authored several of AHIMA’s most popular books including ICD-10-PCS: An Applied Approach, recognized as the “go-to” resource for learning and mastering ICD-10-PCS. As a Subject Matter Expert with Libman Education, Lynn’s unique and engaging teaching methods as well as her leadership on the importance of accuracy and efficiency in coding is recognized by clients and students throughout the country.

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