A Guide to Finding and Buying Medical Coding Books

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Medical coding relies on a highly technical set of codes which provide precise information about diagnosis and treatment, the purpose of which is to ensure accurate billing for services rendered. These codes are published and any serious coder ought to own the books, if for no other reason than reference. Books are also integral parts of any training program and are available from a number of places.

What Information Do I Need?

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the standard diagnostic classification used to classify diseases for the purpose of medical records. These codes are published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are updated on a periodic basis. ICD codes are essential for medical records keeping, and as such, any professional in the field must be proficient in them. A basic medical coding book that anyone in the field needs to have is one containing the new ICD–10 codes. These are much more extensive than the earlier ICD–9 format, and must be learned. Other important codes include Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) and Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI).

Where Can I Purchase Good Books?

  • AHIMA Bookstore: AHIMA has an online bookstore where a shopper can buy books on medical codes and other topics related to medical coding and medical records management. A number of the texts are also there to help a person get ready for the various certification examinations offered by the Association.
  • AAPC Bookstore: AAPC has a fairly extensive offering of books and texts, for both beginners and experienced professionals alike. Included in the bookstore are not just the ICD–9 and ICD–10 series, but also the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). AAPC also has a selection of book bundles which permit someone to buy several books at reduced prices, and they will periodically offer clearance sales on individual books as well.

Medical coding books are not all hardbound, heavy volumes. It is possible to get eBooks (in PDF or CD-ROM format) from a variety of vendors. In addition to the bookstores above, other good resources include:

  • MedeTrac.com: This is an online-only bookstore dedicated solely to medical coding publications, and specializes in discount books for those looking to economize.
  • Medical-Coding.net: With an extensive collection of medical coding books, including various AHIMA certification test prep books, Medical-Coding.net offers a variety of software for professionals in the field.
  • Amazon.com: Perhaps the biggest seller of books online, Amazon has plenty of coding books for sale. What’s exciting about Amazon’s offerings is that included among them are Kindle editions.

Why Books Are Worth the Expense

Anyone shopping for medical coding books ought to expect higher than average prices. Some of the book bundles offered by AAPC cost over one hundred dollars and single books are typically over fifty dollars. The cost of the books might seem a bit expensive, but the value is incredible. As mentioned, ICD–10 will be replacing the older code set (ICD–9) and its terminology is more extensive. This alone makes owning ICD–10 code books critical for anyone wishing to stay current in the language of medical codes. Other subjects covered in various coding books aid in professional development, thus having a library of usable reference books is certainly worth the price.

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