Why the Need for the ICD-10-CM Medical Coding System? Posted by Administrator on April 1, 2009 • Comments (0) With the ICD-10-CM implementation date on the horizon, there may be questions about this new coding system. Why is it needed? What are the changes? How will it affect my medical coding career? While you’re very familiar with ICD-9-CM, you may wonder what the ICD-10-CM system is all about. Here’s some helpful information:What is ICD-9-CM? ICD-9-CM (International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition, Clinical Modifications) is a set of codes used by physicians, hospitals, and health care professionals to indicate the diagnosis for all patient visits. ICD-9-CM contains approximately 13,000 codes; these codes are mandatory for all health insurance claims in the U.S. What is ICD-10-CM? ICD-10-CM is the long awaited diagnosis code revision to ICD-9-CM. This coding system contains approximately 68,000 codes. ICD-10 has been in use throughout the world for both morbidity and mortality statistics since 1994. It has been required for reporting mortality statistics in the United States since 1999. Why is the new ICD-10-CM coding system needed? • Limited Space – It is running out of numbers to assign for codes and in some cases, new code proposals have not been adopted because of limited space • Not Specific Enough – Its diagnosis codes do not describe the severity or complexity of the various disease conditions. This has resulted in increasing requests for additional documentation in order to support claims. • No Exchange of Information – It hinders the exchange of meaningful health care data with health care organizations and professionals around the world. What are the benefits of adopting ICD-10-CM? • Expanded injury codes• Combination of diagnosis/symptom codes• Addition of sixth and seventh characters• Laterality (left and right specific where applicable)• V and E codes incorporated into the main classification• Addition of ambulatory and managed care encounter information• Expanded postoperative complication information How does this affect my medical coding career? Because October 1, 2013 is the drop-dead date for compliance, you will need to be familiar with the new system in advance. This means that you will need to enroll in an ICD-10-CM medical coding course to learn about the new medical coding system – including a comprehensive overview of the changes and impacts on your medical coding career. While there’s still a lot of time to prepare, you need to look ahead toward the upcoming changes.