ICD-10-CM: How do we stack up to other countries?
ICD-10 is already being used in more than 100 countries for cause of death reporting and statistics. However, other countries do not code farther than the 5th character, so no other country gets close to the 69,000 codes we will use in the United States.
For instance, in ICD-10-GM (German Modification), providers can stop coding at the 3rd character and submit the code with three characters and a hyphen. This means that a code could be submitted as Z52.- for donors of organs and tissues, instead of choosing one of the twenty-six more specific codes in the subcategories (e.g., Z52.001, Unspecified donor, stem cell).
With the United States’ implementation of ICD-10, we will have a much greater ability to track diseases and treatment. But what does all this new information mean for our coders/billers/auditors/managers? It means we have a bigger learning curve for the code set.
The U.S. Implementation Will Require:
1. A full understanding of anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and disease processes.
2. Providers who understand the specificity of the code system so they know what needs to be in the medical record to validate an ICD-10-CM code selection.
According to ICD-10-CM readiness evaluations performed by AAPC Physician Services, more than a third of current documentation is insufficient to submit ICD-10-CM claims. It’s time to start building your knowledge base for ICD-10-CM transition by taking an A&P, medical terminology, or pathophysiology course. The more you know, the easier it will be to assign codes and work with your providers on documentation requirements.