ICD 10 from 30,000 feet – welcome to ICD 10 Day!

Welcome to 10-1-15, ICD 10 Day for most medical providers!

In case you have not had enough of ICD 10 recently, here is some history and perspective in support of ICD 10:

ICD 10 was developed by the World Health Organization and the goal was to have health systems all speak the same language.  This is critical in terms of identifying epidemics and other illness patterns.  The US CDC has experiencing problems for years as the US remained the only major nation that had not adopted the ICD 10.

The ICD – 9 was developed by the AMA, and has been very lucrative.  As a result, AMA has worked hard to delay the use of the ICD-10 because it will lose all of that income.  There is no reason for the AMA to have any sort of income from ICD 10 — it was developed by the WHO.

ICD 11 is in development by WHO and is scheduled to be released in 2017. Given that the financial incentive for the AMA to resist change has been eliminated, hopefully the transition to ICD 11 will be much smoother.

The psychologist Tony Puente recently provided a thorough summary of ICD 10 background, issue and coding tips.

Mental health professionals will usually bill with diagnoses from the “Mental and Behavoural Disorders” chapter, which covers codes from F00 to F99.

Dr. Puente provides detailed information about coding skills necessary to use the ICD 10 accurately. The ICD codes have up to 7 digits.  The first is always a letter, in the case of our services “F.” In addition to F there are two more digits before the period, and these three in combination compose the “category, or core” code. The next 3 digits, after the period, are for “etiology, anatomical site, severity.”  The last digit is for “obstetrics, injuries and external causes of injury.”  Dr. Puente provides many helpful examples and discusses how commonly used ICD 9 (DSM 5) codes are converted to ICD 10 codes.  There are, however, many exceptions, which he discusses.  He emphasizes that the category/core codes alone are not billable- you must bill with a code that has at least 4 digits.  Some conditions, such as specific phobias, require 6 digits.

There is a lot of helpful information in Dr. Puente’s presentation, so if you feel the need to get more clarity, or to confirm that you are on the right track with your use of ICD 10, it can be an excellent resource.

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