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  • International Classification of Diseases

    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:

    ICD Revisions

    Years Covered

    1st  

    1900-09

    2nd  

    1910-20

    3rd  

    1921-29

    4th  

    1930-38

    5th  

    1939-48

    6th  

    1949-57

    7th  

    1958-67

    8th  

    1968-78

    9th  

    1979-98

    10th  

    1999-present

     

    United States Transition to ICD-10

    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

    ID-Specific ICD Resources

    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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