ICD-10 Misperceptions, Misinformation, and Misrepresentations

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There has been an array of misperceptions, misinformation, and misrepresentations concerning ICD-10-CM/PCS—making it hard to discern the true facts. Due to the increased concerns, bills have been introduced in Congress to postpone or entirely abandon the con-version to ICD-10.

In particular, the increase in the number of codes and the existence of codes that will rarely be coded have been used to imply that ICD-10 is too complex and difficult to use. Although this implication is false, it is threatening ICD-10 implementation. The purpose of this article is to separate fact from fiction and address these ICD-10 myths.

ICD-9 and ICD-10 are composed of two separate and independent volumes: a diagnosis volume and a procedure volume. In ICD-9 there are 14,567 diagnosis codes and in ICD-10 there are 69,832 diagnosis codes. In ICD-9 there are 3,878 procedure codes and in ICD-10 there are 71,920 procedure codes. The conversion to ICD-10 requires that all providers, including physicians and hospitals, use the diagnosis portion of ICD-10.

However, the procedure portion of ICD-10 is only used by hospitals for reporting inpatient procedures. Physicians will continue to use the American Medical Association’s proprietary Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) to report both inpatient and outpatient procedures. All other providers including hospitals will use CPT for reporting outpatient procedures. The reporting requirements for ICD-10 and CPT remain the same as they currently are for ICD-9 and CPT.

Most of the controversy regarding ICD-10 has focused on the assertion that the code set will impose a major burden on physicians due to its level of detail and the number of codes. However, this assertion is not supported by the facts.

Click here to read the full article “Misperceptions, Misinformation, and Misrepresentations: The ICD-10-CM/PCS Saga” by Richard F. Averill, MS, and Rhonda Butler, CCS, CCS-P.

1 Comment

  1. This is an excellent article justifying the necessity of ICD10 and, as I suspected, not something to fear, but to embrace. As a coder, I look forward to it. Well done. Thank you.

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