ICD-10 for Busy Doctors

January 25th, 2012 / By Rhonda Butler

This is the first in what I hope will be a useful series of blogs on the subject of ICD-10. Building on a previous blog, my goal is to offer clear, concise information about ICD-10 to physicians and physician practice managers, so they can focus on the key differences between the code sets—differences that actually matter for coding and documentation.

Basically, ICD-10 is a long overdue upgrade. ICD-9 is old as the hills and needs to be replaced. The ICD-9 classification contains notions of disease and treatment from the 1960s that don’t do any of us any good — the antiquated content of ICD-9 means physicians have to spend time answering questions about clinical language that hasn’t been used in a generation or more. If you would like more on this subject, see an earlier blog, “ICD is a System and Systems are Upgraded.”

Initial focus will highlight some general differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10 — not the ones that make for good yellow journalism, like the number of ICD-10 codes for getting bitten by various animals, but differences in clinical  terminology that are interesting from the point of view of good coding and documentation.

Read my latest blog at PhysBizTech.

Rhonda Butler is a Senior Clinical Research Analyst with 3M Health Information Systems.