Mandated Update Expands Diagnostic Codes Used By Health Care Providers
The Wall Street Journal: Walked Into A Lamppost? Hurt While Crocheting? Help Is On The Way
Today, hospitals and doctors use a system of about 18,000 codes to describe medical services in bills they send to insurers. Apparently, that doesn't allow for quite enough nuance. A new federally mandated version will expand the number to around 140,000 — adding codes that describe precisely what bone was broken, or which artery is receiving a stent. … The federal agencies that developed the system — generally known as ICD-10, for International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision — say the codes will provide a more exact and up-to-date accounting of diagnoses and hospital inpatient procedures, which could improve payment strategies and care guidelines. "It's for accuracy of data and quality of care," says Pat Brooks, senior technical adviser at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Mathews, 9/13).