CMS unveils ICD-10 fact sheet

October 9, 2009

Diagnosis coding under ICD-10 is similar to that of ICD-9, but will use seven letters or digits, whereas ICD-9 uses three or four digits.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a fact sheet in August outlining the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition, Clinical Modification/Procedure Coding System (ICD-10), which becomes mandatory in the U.S. starting October 1, 2013.

According to the fact sheet, diagnosis coding under ICD-10 is similar to that of ICD-9, but will use seven letters or digits, whereas ICD-9 uses three or four digits. ICD-10 contains 155,000 codes compared to ICD-9's 17,000.

CMS says organizations should begin preparing for ICD-10 implementation by developing a plan that includes identifying who will be affected by the transition, formulating strategies and goals, developing education and training, determining any IT-system changes, and planning for documentation changes.

The introduction of ICD-10 will not affect CPT codes used on Medicare claims.