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ICD-10 knowledge hub

Learn about the ICD-10 transition and why it's an important industry shift.

ICD-10 Code Transition

The ICD-10 code transition marks a monumental change across the US healthcare industry. As previously mentioned, the difference in volume between ICD-9 codes and ICD-10 codes is massive: ICD-9 includes 13,800 three-to-five-digit, primarily numeric diagnostic codes; the ICD-10 code set contains roughly five times that number, a total of approximately 69,000 three-to-seven-digit, alphanumeric codes. That expansion satisfies a level of medical detail that ICD-9 currently doesn't. For instance, the ICD-9 code set doesn't:

  • Offer accurate medical descriptions
  • Differentiate risk and severity
  • Distinguish symptoms of diseases
  • Efficiently reimburse claims

The U.S. healthcare system is behind the times in implementing this improvement: about 25 other countries, including Australia, Canada, France, China and Germany, have been using ICD-10 codes for some time now. 

Healthcare providers using ICD-10 codes have a better understanding of their patient populations and the conditions that afflict them.  Not only can providers make more informed treatment decisions, they also have better information for patient population health management.

ICD-10 codes advance healthcare by:
  • Improving the overall efficiency of the healthcare industry
  • Offering updated medical terminology and disease classifications
  • Improving the accuracy of diagnosis codes
  • Supporting reimbursement models that pay doctors more for complex issues
  • Improving payment efficiency and preventing errors
  • Providing better data for the study of diseases and their patterns

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