HHS proposes 2011 deadline for ICD-10 code adoption

HHS has issued a proposed rule that would set an October 1, 2011 deadline for adopting the ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes to replace the current ICD-9-CM code series. Today, ICD-9-CM codes are widely used for electronic claim processing, remittance advice, eligibility inquiries, referral authorizations and more. U.S. authorities have delayed the move to ICD-10 due to the high cost of switching health IT systems over that are already in use around the world.

However, once implemented, the ICD-10 codes will offer substantial benefits, officials say. For one thing, they'll allow clinical IT systems to record far more specific and rich diagnostic information than ICD-9 codes. The ICD-10 code set contains more than 155,000 codes, while ICD-9 contains only 17,000 codes.

To learn more about the proposed switch:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece