Transition to the ICD-10 in the United States: An Emerging Data Chasm

The ICD-9, which was in place for nearly 4 decades in the United States, included unique codes for 14 000 diagnoses and 4000 procedures.1 The ICD-10 expanded to include nearly 70 000 diagnoses and 72 000 procedures,1 allowing better characterization of health care encounters and more closely aligning reimbursement of medical costs to the care delivered. In addition, the ICD-10 can capture greater detail regarding clinical encounters through specific identification of conditions based on etiology, treatment complications, and follow-up encounters for existing conditions.

A successful transition from using ICD-9-coded data to ICD-10-coded data would require a rigorous assessment of all potential sources of error. Despite the delayed adoption of ICD-10 coding in the United States, opportunities to learn from other countries are limited and incentives to code may vary by national priorities.

[Read more…]