Summary: How is ICD-10 better than ICD-9? What are the benefits?

ICD-10 is refers to the International Coding Description, Version 10. ICD-10 is as the name implies an international coding system. In fact, almost every country other than the US is currently using this system. The implementation date is right around the corner – October 14, 2014. Are you ready? Are you making the necessary preparations?

See previous blogs on ICD-10:

Benefits/Enhancements of ICD-10

  1. Increases the number of codes available by:
    1. Using alphanumeric codes as opposed to just numeric
    2. Increased number of characters (up to 7 instead of 5 which was the maximum for ICD-9
    3. Ability to include in the code laterality (fifth and sixth character level), which is the differentiation between the left and right sides of the body.
    4. Expands the degree and level of detail which would assist providers, payers, and policy makers in:
      1. Establishing reimbursement rates which are appropriate
      2. Improving the delivery of healthcare
      3. Improving and evaluating the overall quality of patient care
      4. Effectively monitoring both service and resource utilization
      5. Increases the available data for ambulatory and managed care encounters.
      6. Includes as part of the code an indication of the individual patient’s trimester.
      7. Increases the classification to include risk factors which may be encountered in the primary care setting.
      8. Includes diagnoses which have been discovered since the last update to ICD-9.
      9. Updated terminology consistent with current clinical practice and new advances in technology.
      10. Codes expanded to include post procedural descriptions
      11. New groupings now by site and then by type of wound
      12. Expansion of combination codes which may include symptom and diagnosis or etiology and manifestation
      13. Added extensions for episode of care
      14. Changes to timeframes which are specified for certain codes.
      15. Expansion of excludes notes
      16. Some conditions have been moved to different chapters for new treatment protocols and or recently discovered etiology.
      17. Subcategory titles are more complete reducing the time and effort required to lookup previous codes and/or code meanings.
      18. Use of extensions to provide additional data.

Based upon the combination of all of the added benefits and the fact the rest of the world is already using this coding system, I think the question isn’t “Do we need to adopt ICD-10?” but rather “What has taken the US so long to finally mandate? In perusing the available data on ICD-10, the level of detail is staggering and utterly amazing. This detail should, once totally implemented, provide easier claim submission, quicker reimbursement, and better diagnosis and treatment plans. ICD-10 should also provide a mechanism to better trend the frequency of these specific codes. So, are you ready for ICD-10? Are you taking the necessary steps to comply?

Contact Us

BHM Healthcare Solutions or 1-888-831-1171


Follow Us

Facebook –
Twitter –
LinkedIn –

Google + –

Linkedin Group – Healthcare Insider –

Google + Community – Healthcare Insider –

Google + Community – Healthcare Accreditation

Google + Community – Healthcare Reform –

Google + Community – Healthcare Integration –