Why ICD-10?

There were four main reasons that the federal government moved to ICD-10 as a code set standard: (1) ICD-9 dates to 1979 and its functionality has been “exhausted” and does not reflect “new and changing medical advancements”; (2) Parts of the ICD-9-CM were full, which required putting codes in “topically unrelated chapters,” burdensome for healthcare providers in a move toward more efficiency; (3) Insufficient detail opportunities: “[I]n an age of electronic health records, it does not make sense to use a coding system that lacks specificity and does not lend itself well to updates…Emerging health care technologies, new and advanced terminologies, and the need for interoperability amid the increase in electron health records (EHRs) and personal health records (PHRs) require a standard code set that is expandable and sufficiently detailed to accurately capture current and future health care information”; (4) ICD-9-CM no longer supported by the World Health Organization: “As we become a global community, it is vital our health care data represent current medical conditions and technologies, and that they are compatible with the international version of ICD-10…. In addition to the need for precise diagnosis and procedure codes for payment purposes, detain and precision in coding are critical to the national and international health care community for mortality reporting, bio-surveillance, treatment of patients, hospital management, and research” [73 Federal Register 49799-49800].

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