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ICD-10 explained: Animated video unravels ICD-10 definition and codes

Following a multi-year buildup, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition, or ICD-10, has been in effect for the U.S. healthcare industry for almost a year.

SearchHealthIT has closely followed the progress of the implementation of the coding system, from concerns about whether technologies could effectively handle the new codes, to the occasional panic that ensued before the implementation date, to peoples' reactions during the switchover -- and then to the quiet aftermath.

In this video, learn more about ICD-10, explained by News Writer Kristen Lee.

ICD-10 codes play an important role in healthcare. This clinical cataloging system went into effect for the United States on Oct. 1, 2015, replacing the old ICD-9 codes. This new set of codes accounts for modern advances in clinical treatment as well as advances in health IT.

Failing to convert to ICD-10 means that medical claims submitted without an ICD-10 code or with an incorrect ICD-10 code will be rejected and, therefore, that healthcare organization will not be reimbursed.

Assigning codes for ICD-10 explained

Healthcare organizations must rely on technologies such as EHR and billing software to help gather and assign the appropriate ICD-10 codes for the right ailments.

Some experts think the increase in number of codes is beneficial because there are more classification options and physicians can assign codes that specifically describe what the patient suffers from. Other experts believe the implementation of ICD-10 will only end with negative results, including adding zero value to the way physicians care for patients and potentially forcing some physicians to retire.

Implementation of ICD-10 explained

When the day finally arrived for ICD-10's implementation, SearchHealthIT monitored Twitter to track peoples' reactions. While some observers bemoaned the huge effort it took to transition over to the new coding system, others felt it wasn't so bad.

Even people who had predicted the worst outcome changed their mind after the transition continued to go smoothly.

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