Keck Medicine of USC will soon begin information and training sessions related to a new coding system for reporting of medical diagnoses and in-patient procedures set to begin Oct.  1.

The ICD-10, the latest edition and 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases published by the World Health Organization, is the standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes. ICD-10 will be used to report diagnoses in all clinical settings. It includes codes for signs and symptoms of diseases.

“ICD-10 is the end result of a broad mission to leverage clinical documentation to increase the quality of care,” said Chief Information Officer Joshua Lee, MD.  “It’s taking documentation and making it reflect with precision exactly what we do. ICD-10 makes everyone climb to a new level in the specificity of their documentation.”

The codes provide a uniform approach to categorizing diseases and patient conditions, along with surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. It is the international standard used to monitor diseases and other health problems, providing a picture of health situations among populations across the globe.

ICD-9 has 11,000 procedure codes, compared with 87,000 in ICD-10. The detailed nature of ICD-10 is expected to produce better data analytics, resulting in higher quality information for measuring health care quality, safety, and efficiency in reimbursement and billing processes. It is also expected to accommodate advances in medicine, technology and the development of innovative treatments for new diseases.

“ICD-10 is changing the paradigm of documentation,” Lee said.

The ICD-10 replaces ICD-9, which is limited in its level of detail in code assignment and leads to grouping of newer innovative procedures with current or older procedures. ICD-9 has been used for about 35 years, but it is no longer considered viable for today’s treatment, reporting and payment processes, according to the American Medical Association.

Health care providers, payers and billing services must comply by the Oct. 1 deadline. Upgrading to ICD-10 is a HIPAA requirement.

All physicians and staff involved in patient care across Keck Medicine of USC will need to go through training. Information sessions that begin this May will include specialty-specific review sessions, web-based learning programs and refresher training.

— Douglas Morino