What is ICD-10

Nurse with a clipboardThe International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the international standard diagnostic classification for all general epidemiological, many health management purposes and clinical use.

These include the analysis of the general health situation of population groups and monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of diseases and other health problems in relation to other variables such as the characteristics and circumstances of the individuals affected, reimbursement, resource allocation, quality and guidelines.

The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) was endorsed by the Forty-third World Health Assembly in 1990 and came into use in World Health Organization (WHO) member states in 1994.

The classification is the latest in a series which has its origins in the 1850s. The first edition, known as the International List of Causes of Death, was adopted by the International Statistical Institute in 1893.

WHO took over the responsibility for ICD at its creation in 1948 when the Sixth Revision, which included causes of morbidity for the first time, was published. The World Health Assembly adopted the WHO Nomenclature Regulations that stipulate use of ICD in its most current revision for mortality and morbidity statistics by all member states in 1967.

The ICD-10 consists of:

  • Tabular lists containing cause-of-death titles and codes (Volume 1)
  • Inclusion and exclusion terms for cause-of-death titles (Volume 1)
  • An alphabetical index to diseases and nature of injury, external causes of injury, table of drugs and chemicals (Volume 3)
  • Descriptions, guidelines, and coding resources (Volume 2)

Whereas ICD-9-CM contains more than 17,000 codes, ICD-10 contains more than 141,000 codes and accommodates a host of new diagnoses and procedures.

The department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has mandated the replacement of the ICD-9-CM code sets medical coders and billers in the United States use now to report health care diagnoses and procedures with ICD-10 code sets, effective Oct. 1, 2014.

Only a handful of countries, including the United States and Italy, have not adopted ICD-10 as their standard for reporting.

The change to ICD-10-CM for diagnostic code reporting across all of health care — and the implementation of ICD-10-PCS (Procedural Coding System) for inpatient procedural reporting for hospitals and payers — will be the most challenging transition since the inception of coding.

The number of diagnostic codes under ICD-10-CM will swell from 13,500 to 69,000. For inpatient procedures, the number jumps from 4,000 codes to 71,000 codes.

source: AAPC

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