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10 Ways ICD-10 Will Improve Quality of Care

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2011

6. Tracks healthcare-associated conditions

The ICD-10 code allows much greater explanation and accountability for adverse events that can occur within healthcare institutions. For example, there are at least 50 categories for a foreign object, whether the patient came in with it or not. And if a fall or other mishap occurred within a hospital, the location is specified as the bathroom, cafeteria, corridor, the operating room or the patient's room.

7. Specifies procedures by degree of difficulty

The new codes allow certain procedures to be subdivided by difficulty. Bowman says that under ICD-9, there is only one code for artery suture, but in ICD-10, there are 195: Four different approaches and 67 possible arteries. Though some are far more difficult than others, under the current code set, they are all lumped together.

8. Allows for more precision in reporting complications from medical devices

In the current system, a patient death or serious disability due to a device malfunction or breakdown is classified as 996.1: Mechanical complication of other vascular device, implant, and graft.

ICD-10 allows providers to be much more precise in describing the nature of the malfunction. The new code differentiates whether there is a mechanical breakdown of a vascular dialysis catheter, an arteriovenous shunt, a balloon counterpulsation device, or an umbrella device.

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8 comments on "10 Ways ICD-10 Will Improve Quality of Care"


Jennifer Hamilton (1/12/2014 at 8:02 AM)
At the same time the public is demanding the US government "back off" on collecting information, medicine is about to introduce a dramatic increase in "data" for our government. And, please note, it will be tied to your electronic medical record. It is hard to argue with the need for updating the codes, but the dramatic increase in numbers, details and specifics is of concern. The cost will be real in time and money. To argue that one benefit is that it preserves and even grows the number of coders is shocking- increasing people who push paper and provide no care at the same time we are trying to cut cost?! This is a fantasy article by someone who has no clue what providing health care is about.

ralph (2/17/2012 at 12:48 PM)
I'm trying to understand how going from 14,000 CPT billing codes to 140,000 ICD-10 billing codes improves quality of medicine? It might improve the quality of live of bean counters who have to sort through this mess, but thats it. Thats why at www.medibid.com there are no billing codes, and patients save about 80% off of the billed rates

patient advocate (12/2/2011 at 2:30 PM)
Physician practices are provided with a substantial amount of money to ease the burden of modernizing their practice to use EHRs, and transitioning to ICD10 is certainly part of that. A $40,000+ investment by American tax payers that is available to all physicians that adopt new HIT technologies is a far cry from "and do it all at my own costs".