How is ICD changing by 2013?
After many years of preparation, the launch of ICD-10 is anticipated to be in October 2013. While there have been some delays in the past regarding the enactment, this date seems to be rather set in stone by CMS and HHS. Even though some may feel that this is a long way off, time has a way of sneaking up on folks and preparations needs to be made now. In fact, you need to forget everything you thought you knew about medical coding via ICD-9 and start fresh with ICD-10. The two systems are so substantially different that you need to begin with an open mind and a new approach to coding.
Following are the highlights of the differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10. Proper training will ensure that you are fully schooled on these changes when the big moment of conversion happens.
While in the past, coding consisted of 3 to 5 characters, the new system will have 3 to 7 characters.
Number of Codes
For ICD-10-CM there are now 68,000 available codes as opposed to 13,000 under ICD-9. For ICD-10-PCS there are now 87,000 codes as opposed to a previous 3,000. Thus, the total number of available codes has jumped a full 868%.
Alpha and Numeric System
Whereas previously the coding system was either numeric (such as 611.5) or alpha-numeric (as in V71.8), the new coding system is exclusively alpha-numeric. For ICD-10-CM the first three characters are the category; the following three characters are etiology, anatomic site and severity; and the final available character is for the extension. For ICD-10-PCS, the seven characters (in order) are:
- Body System
- Root Operation
- Body Part
Adding New Codes
While ICD-9 did not allow for adding new codes through the years, ICD-10 is formatted in such a way to allow new additions as warranted
Medical Language Utilized
The newer system will be using updated medical language, including using detailed and not generic language for varying body parts
Because of the increase in the number of codes now available, greater specification and detail in coding will provide for intensified coding accuracy
ICD-10 has codes that specify laterality (for example, left ovary or right ulna)