ICD-9 and ICD 10: What Are The Differences?


With the move from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coming quicker and quicker, you need to get up to speed as soon as possible. What are the main differences between the coding systems?…

ICD-9 has been plagued by a lack of specifics, such as similar injuries on opposite limbs having the same code.  This reduces effectiveness and has caused confusion on many different levels.  ICD-10 will offer a greater degree of specific information in areas such as right versus left, initial or subsequent encounter, and other relevant clinical information.  The greater degree of specific information is utilized with a number of different methods, many of which are covered below.

Number of Codes

As part of the effort to provide more information, ICD-10 will have roughly 68,000 available codes (with flexibility for adding new ones) in comparison to ICD-9's 13,000 codes and limited space for additions. Codes may be somewhat different than before, so coders will need to understand how to effectively search for codes under the new system.

Length of Code

ICD-10 uses codes that are longer (in some cases) than those of ICD-9, following a basic structure.

More comments about the ICD-10 implementation from the Twitterverse… 

The transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is going to require some planning and preparation. Don't get caught unprepared!