By: Allison J. Bloom, Esq., NEMSMA Board Member At-Large
By now, hopefully you have at least heard about ICD-10. But, what is it, and why is it important to not only know about it, but to also comply with its use?
Since 1979, the U.S. has been following ICD-9 coding protocols, the precursor to ICD-10. ICD-10 includes updated medical terminology and classification of diseases. However, in 1990, ICD-10 – the 10th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) – was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). Although it has taken 15 years, a final compliance date has been set for October 1, 2015, and no further extensions will be issued.
What ICD-10 introduces are codes which A) provide more information per code, B) better support for analytics, care management and quality measurement and C) greater ability to understand risk and severity. In short, it is a more detailed method of coding a patient’s state of health and institutional procedures than previously used in ICD-9.