The important implementation of ICD-10

Healthcare facilities and physicians’ offices must transition from the ICD-9 code set to the new ICD-10 codes. This is a monumental undertaking, especially for medical coders, because it will: Significantly expand the number of codes used: The current ICD-9 code set includes about 17,000 codes whereas the ICD-10 code set has over 155,000 codes.

These new codes are more specific and more complex, requiring coders to have specialized training to effectively use them. Increase the importance of biomedical sciences: With the shift to more complex codes, an understanding of the biomedical sciences—medical terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and pharmacology—will be even more important for medical coders.

Federal regulations require all entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to use the ICD‐10‐CM/PCS code sets for dates of service or date of discharge for inpatients that occur on or after October 1, 2014. The ICD‐10‐CM diagnosis code set must be used in all healthcare settings (ie, clinical setting), whereas the ICD‐10‐PCS procedure code set is to be used solely by hospitals for reporting hospital inpatient procedures


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