The CMS has awarded a contract to the American Health Information Management Association to assess the effect on the CMS of replacing the ICD-9 code sets with the ICD-10 coding system. Developed by the World Health Organization, the ICD-10 coding system has been adopted by all of the G-7 countries except the U.S. ICD-9 codes are used for a variety of purposes, including reimbursement, quality reporting, pay-for-performance, benchmarking, healthcare policy, public health reporting and research. The codes, totaling about 17,000, were developed nearly 30 years ago, according to the CMS. By comparision, the ICD-10 code set has about 210,000 diagnosis and procedure codes.
"The awarding of this contract reflects the CMS' commitment to ensuring that the transition from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10 code sets will be thoughtfully planned and implemented throughout CMS and the healthcare community," Kerry Weems, acting administrator at CMS, said in a news release. "While we are still assessing the implementation and timing of the ICD-10, our proactive approach should send a signal to hospitals and other stakeholders who use the ICD-10 coding to begin making their own transition plans."