HHS issued a proposed rule that set an Oct. 1, 2011 deadline for adoption of the ICD-10 series of diagnosis and procedure codes to replace the ICD-9-CM codes in wide use today for the electronic processing of claims, remittance advices, eligibility inquiries, referral authorizations and other electronic transactions.
The movement to the ICD-10 code sets, which have achieved wide adoption around the world but whose rollout had been delayed in the U.S. due to the high cost of switching existing information technology systems to accommodate them, will allow clinical IT systems to record in codified form a much more specific and rich diagnosis than ICD-9 codes. According to HHS, the ICD-10 codes contain more than 155,000 codes and can describe far more diagnoses and procedures than the ICD-9 series, which contain 17,000 codes.
The regulation would update the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to require the use of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision for diagnosis coding and for inpatient hospital procedure coding, according to an HHS announcement, replacing related International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes. -- by Joseph Conn
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