Donna Stewart, compliance manager at Children’s Hospital, Norfolk, Va., summarizes this transition to ICD-10 this way: “If successful, the data we’ll extract will be incredible for medicine.” To be sure, it’s a big “if,” yet Steward’s main point about the forthcoming diagnosis and procedure classification system is on point.
The new coding system, set for national implementation on Oct. 1, 2013, greatly expands the ability to describe patient conditions. Coding a simple ankle sprain, for example, will involve 72 codes, rather than the single code currently in play, Stewart told attendees at the World Congress Leadership Summit on ICD-10 in Vienna, Va. Because of the new granularity, which adds the “laterality” that is missing in ICD-9, coding staff, Stewart said, will need additional training in anatomy and physiology.
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