The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the coding system maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify morbidity and mortality data. Increases in our understanding of existing diseases and discovery of new diseases has resulted in the need to periodically update ICD. While the United States still uses the Ninth Revision of ICD (ICD-9), most countries transitioned to ICD-10 long ago. The table below shows the timeline of ICD revisions:
The United States has been using ICD-9, which
includes approximately 13,000 diagnosis codes, for the past three decades. The transition to ICD-10 for all healthcare providers will occur on October 1, 2013. This transition will increase the number
of diagnosis codes to approximately 70,000 thereby leading to a more granular
and accurate coding system. Proponents of ICD-10 also argue that the volume of codes will encourage the adoption
of health information technology.
Prior to the ICD-10 transition, ID physicians should work with their practice staff to ensure that all necessary updates are made to their 1) coding and billing systems, 2) super bills, and 3) electronic health records. Verify compliance with the Version 5010 standards for HIPAA administrative transaction as part of this process. Additional ICD-10 information and resources can be found at:
American Health Information Management Association
Medicare's ICD-10 Webpage
Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange
Numerous vendors offer ICD coding resources that cater to infectious diseases and other specialties. As an example, Rapid Coder® has developed ICD-9 code lists for 26 specialties. Such code lists can typically be purchased for a nominal
fee and are available in print or electronic form.
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