Summary of ICD-10

ICD-10 is coming to US healthcare in 2013. CMS has created a nice summary of the motivation for shifting to ICD-10 and some examples of the changes.

There are pros and cons on many fronts around shifting to ICD-10. From an integration standpoint, most codes are carried in HL7 as a CE data type. This means that HL7 is by-and-large “already prepared” for ICD-10.

The real work will be in end user applications and, IMO, in the user experience of selecting much more specific codes. In short, ICD-10 provides pre-coordinated codes and ultimately suffers from inconsistency in code construction — this will make the GUI design and selection process very ugly indeed.For example, Pressure ulcer codes go from a choice of 9 to a choice of 125.

Rich Elmore discusses the “large code set problem” in a 2008 blog posting where he uses the example of a simple code (“insect bite”) and compares ICD-9 and ICD-10. Coding this simple example is much harder in ICD-10.

Additional Resources:

Dave Shaver is the CTO for Corepoint Health. Dave has more than 20 years experience in training, consulting, and software development. Over the last 13 years, he has built thousands of HL7 interfaces and worked with hundreds of vendors, hospitals, clinics, and labs. Dave is a prominent player in the HL7 organization and serves on several HL7 Special Interest Groups.

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