FSW’s Health Information Technology Teaches ICD-10 System

Nov 9, 2015

November 9, 2015 – FORT MYERS, FLA – The 10th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) was finally implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on October 1, 2015 after a multiple year delay. Florida SouthWestern State College’s (FSW) Health Information Technology (HIT) program has been teaching students ICD-10-CM/PCS coding since 2013.

The impact of the federal implementation of ICD-10-CM is substantial in that it affects all healthcare facilities and providers that submit insurance claims to receive payment for their services. In addition to providers, the change to ICD-10 is being felt by all the support services that deal with health data, the electronic health record and claims processing.

ICD-10 was adopted in 1994 by the World Health Organization (WHO).  The WHO has maintained the International Classification of Diseases for recording cause of death since 1893. It has updated the ICD system periodically to reflect new discoveries in medicine and healthcare technologies. The U.S. delayed adoption for various issues until this year.

“Coding systems are used in both inpatient and outpatient health care settings, playing a critical role in the reimbursement of patient health care services,” said Deborah Howard RHIA, CCS, Program Director, Health Information Technology. “In our Health Information Technology program, students master coding skills necessary to optimize reimbursement for services provided.”

“Previously, in addition to CPT-4, we had to teach both ICD-9 and ICD-10 as we awaited the implementation mandate by the federal government,” Howard said.  “Now, we are able to put our focus on ICD-10 and CPT-4, giving our students the most current knowledge in the coding environment. They have been graduating from FSW’s program already prepared with a skill set that is in great demand. This will strengthen the employability of our graduates in the workforce.”

Professor Howard was recently selected to participate in a workforce development session related to ICD-10 coding at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in Chicago. Her work on this collaboration to enhance ICD-10 education tools will be published in the future by AHIMA.

The Health Information Technology program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Program graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). The Associate of Science in Health Information Technology is one of eleven health career degrees offered in FSW’s School of Health Professions.


Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Annually serving nearly 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees, and professional certifications. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW will debut its intercollegiate athletics program in January 2016. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.