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What Is Icd-10?
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So what exactly is ICD-10!? ICD is an acronym for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD. Ten represents the tenth version of the ICD code set, replacing ICD-9. ICD codes are used for many purposes, including reporting and claims processing and payment. The ICD-10 code set is composed of two types of codes: procedure codes and diagnosis codes.

When answering the question on “What is ICD-10,” it is often easiest to compare it to the previous code set, ICD-9. In the ICD-9 code world, there exists approximately 16,000 codes, both procedure and diagnosis. These codes are used to define benefits, product carve-outs, reporting, and much more. With the introduction of the ICD-10 code set, there now exists something to the token of 155,000 ICD codes; an increase of nearly 10 fold. This new code set provides increased granularity and specificity, allowing enhanced reporting and detailed claims processing.

Now that we’ve discussed “What is ICD-10,” why does it matter!? ICD-10 is nothing new, in fact is has been existence for several years; it was first established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1992. The question of “What is ICD-10” has recently become a popular one because the US government has mandated that all health organizations must move to reporting, operating, and processing claims on the ICD-10 code set by October 1st, 2013. As you can imagine, this is a massive undertaking in the world of health care. Providers and pay alike will have to overhaul systems, update codes, and implement new training in order to be prepared for October 1st, 2013.

One of the ways to help answer the question of “What is ICD-10,” is training. Several organizations, such as AHIMA, are providing training sessions for ICD-10 coders and other industry professionals. The other solution to this question is ICD translation tools. Users affected by this ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition will need tools to help better understanding ICD-10 and navigate through the ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition. Several tools are available in the market from vendors such as 3M, HLI, or Edifecs as well as free applications such as Free ICD Translator.

One thing is for certain, answering the question of “What is ICD-10,” is only the start to solving this problem that the health care industry is facing. Through the implementation of thorough training, shared knowledge and the use of industry tools will health care organizations be successful in preparation for October 1st, 2013. Good luck!


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