International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
The ICD is the foundation for identifying health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55 000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death. It provides a common language that allows health professionals to share health information across the globe.
The International Classification of Disease (ICD) is a standard diagnostic tool created by the World Health Organization (WHO), for monitoring the incidence and prevalence of diseases and related conditions.
The ICD has diverse clinical applications, and is used not just by doctors but also by paramedic staff, insurance companies, researchers and policy makers. ICD is used to classify diseases and store diagnostic information for clinical, quality and epidemiological purposes and also for reimbursement of insurance claims.
What is ICD-10 or ICD-11
The ICD tenth revision (ICD-10) ICD eleventh revision (ICD-11) is a code system that contains codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, circumstances and external causes of diseases or injury.
ICD purpose and uses
ICD is the foundation for the identification of health trends and statistics globally, and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is the diagnostic classification standard for all clinical and research purposes. ICD defines the universe of diseases, disorders, injuries and other related health conditions, listed in a comprehensive, hierarchical fashion that allows for:
- easy storage, retrieval and analysis of health information for evidenced-based decision-making;
- sharing and comparing health information between hospitals, regions, settings and countries; and
- data comparisons in the same location across different time periods.
Uses include monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of diseases, observing reimbursements and resource allocation trends, and keeping track of safety and quality guidelines. They also include the counting of deaths as well as diseases, injuries, symptoms, reasons for encounter, factors that influence health status, and external causes of disease.
History of ICD
The first international classification edition, known as the International List of Causes of Death, was adopted by the International Statistical Institute in 1893.
WHO was entrusted with the ICD at its creation in 1948 and published the 6th version, ICD-6, that incorporated morbidity for the first time. The WHO Nomenclature Regulations, adopted in 1967, stipulated that Member States use the most current ICD revision for mortality and morbidity statistics. The ICD has been revised and published in a series of editions to reflect advances in health and medical science over time.
ICD-10 was endorsed in May 1990 by the Forty-third World Health Assembly. It is cited in more than 20,000 scientific articles and used by more than 100 countries around the world.
A version of ICD-11 was released on 18 June 2018 to allow Member States to prepare for implementation, including translating ICD into their national languages. ICD-11 will be submitted to the 144th Executive Board Meeting in January 2019 and the Seventy-second World Health Assembly in May 2019 and, following endorsement, Member States will start reporting using ICD-11 on 1 January 2022.
Why ICD-11 data is a natural part of modern healthcare
- ICD data isn’t just about diagnoses. It’s data about the patients. That means physicians can focus on the data associated with the patients like their patients.
- Hospitals are going to be able to use the data to analyze readmissions. That won’t be something they can avoid. Healthcare payers will be penalizing hospitals based upon readmissions. They need to get a handle on readmissions. Medical practices and hospitals will need ICD-10 data to identify the details driving these costs.
- ICD claims are a rich source of data. Data analytics does take effort and investment to manage. But technology has progressed to make it accessible to healthcare professionals.
Why ICD codes are important?
The significance of the ICD code system can be assessed from its application in various realms of quality management, healthcare, information technology and public health.
- The ICD code system offers accurate and up-to-date procedure codes to improve health care cost and ensure fair reimbursement policies. The current codes specifically help healthcare providers to identify patients in need of immediate disease management and to tailor effective disease management programs.
- ICD-10-CM has been adopted internationally to facilitate implementation of quality health care as well as its comparison on a global scale.
- Compared to the previous version (i.e. ICD-9-CM) ICD-10-CM is more specific and captures public health diseases, particularly diseases related to external injury, e.g. terrorism.
- ICD-10 and 11 codes hold particular significance in research since code-analysis is an essential component of research and development. Code system and logic allows for fewer coding errors that ultimately benefits in the research and development analyses.
- The upgrade version of the ICD code system enhances health policy decision making by providing better data for organizational monitoring and performance.
- The ICD-10 and 11 coding system is more easily configurable and retrievable into electronic format offering better format than ICD-9, other codes such as SNOMED CT and CPT codes.
- ICD-10 codes have specifically been developed for reimbursement purposes to offer a rational foundation for payment procedures.
- Alphanumeric formats of the ICD-10 code system provide a better alternative than ICD-9-CM codes offering a more flexible and upgradable version e.g. diabetes mellitus – E10-E14
- Lastly, the ICD-10 coding system helps to:
- Reduce medication error
- Improve treatment options and disease outcomes
- Lower treatment and claim cost
- In the health policy and operational and strategic planning
- Improve payment systems through claims processing
- Decrease claim submissions
How is ICD Coding applicable for MedTech Startups?
ICD-10 or 11 codes are thus shaping the future of clinical practice. For more on ICD-10, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to discuss further.