ICD 10 - The Globally Accepted Classification Of Diseases

Published on by John Mathews

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified diseases alphanumerically, making it easier for health care institutions, people and health care experts to identify them. This alphanumeric classification is known as ICD (International Classification of Diseases). As per ICD, every health condition is identified by a unique alphanumeric code. As per the current coding system, which happens to be ICD 10 coding, there are about 68,000 diseases identified by the codes. From time to time, WHO revises the sets of codes used in ICD. The currently used ICD 10 coding is being revised right now. The new coding ICD 11 is expected to be endorsed by WHO by 2017.

How does ICD Help Patients?

ICD benefits common people the same way healthcare bodies or experts do. When a person enrols into a Medicare benefit, ICD coding is used to calculate his benefits and premiums. ICD 10 coding system is used extensively now in insurance billing and medical diagnosis.

Although ICD 10 coding is the globally approved coding system used at present, there are health care experts and bodies who continue to use older coding systems, say CPT-4 or ICD-9. With the introduction the 11th revision of ICD, the World Health Organization wants all health organizations, healthcare experts and whoever concerned to use it as the default coding system. To make it possible, people engaged in the medical industry (doctors, medical billers, and medical coders) need to undergo special training to get familiar with the new coding system.

Changes Expected to be Brought to the ICD-11 Coding System

Unlike ICD-10, ICD-11 will contain substantial changes in the entire coding system. It is reported that the new coding in ICD 11 will use seven characters. The characters will be alphanumeric as usual. However, they will not contain the capital letters O or I. This is to avoid incidents where people mistake I and O for the numbers 1 and 0.

No Punctuation Allowed

It is reported that the ICD-11 classification does not use any punctuation. In the previous coding systems such as ICD-10 and ICD-9, many of the codes were given numerically. To describe a disease broadly, categories and sub-categories were used.  

It will take not less than 2 years for the upcoming coding system (ICD-11) to take effect. Until then, it is recommended to use ICD-10, the globally endorsed coding system. Global health insurance companies have made it clear that they would deny the claims if they weren’t encoded using the ICD-10 coding system.  

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