In preparation for ICD-10, the federal government developed GEMs, a translation tool to aid in converting data from ICD-9 to 10, and vice versa. But leaders of outsourced coding, auditing and consulting services firm HRS say the tool has limitations and its use should be carefully considered.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Centers for Disease Control, with input from the American Hospital Association and American Health Information Management Association, created GEMs, which is short for General Equivalence Mappings. The agencies, in guidance available here, explain that GEMs are crosswalks “as they provide important information linking codes of one system with codes in the other system. The GEMs are a comprehensive translation dictionary that can be used to accurately and effectively translate any ICD-9-CM-based data.”

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