Serving the medical community since 1979
Serving the medical community since 1979
MB Medical Billing Services, Inc. Phone: 949-582-3784 Fax: 949-582-3786 Email:
MB Medical Billing Services, Inc.Phone: 949-582-3784Fax: 949-582-3786Email: 


What is ICD-10

What does ICD 10 mean and how will it impact your practice?

ICD-10 is a clinical diagnostic coding system virtually every country in the world outside of the United States. ICD-10 is not just a simple coding update but a completely overhauled system consisting of new codes and more in depth code descriptions, replacing the current ICD-9 medical code set which. ICD-10-CM medical codes expand the current ICD-9-CM code base by nearly nine times, from 13,600 codes to more than 120,000 new medical codes. Additionally, code structure increases in complexity, moving from predominantly numeric three to five digit ICD-9 codes to mixed alphanumeric ICD-10 codes that can contain up to seven digits.

Comparing ICD-9 Vs ICD-10



3-4 numbers in length

7 alpha-numeric characters in length

*Approximately 3,000 codes

*Approximately 87,000 available codes

Based on outdated technology

Reflects current usage of medical terminology and devices

Limited space for adding new codes

Flexible for adding new codes

Lacks detail

Very specific

Lacks laterality

Has laterality

Generic terms for body parts

Detailed descriptions for body parts

Lacks descriptions of methodology and approach for procedures

Provides detailed descriptions of methodology and approach for procedures

Lacks precision to adequately define procedures

Precisely defines procedures with detail regarding body part, approach, any device used, and qualifying information

* This chart compares procedural codes only and does not include diagnostic codes.


This increase in complexity and sheer number of medical codes requires automated code management features within medical practice management software and billing software in order to improve productivity and accuracy of medical coding professionals.roductivity standards may have to be redefined, requiring more medical coding staff
  • Need to retrain existing staff and pay to send medical coders back to school
  • Medical providers have to change how they document, more detailed diagnosis information require
  • Each organization needs to develop an implementation plan


  • The provider encounter documentation will have to expand in terms of diagnosis detail in order to support this new level of medical coding; this is expected to cause a huge impact on medical provider habits
  • Medical billing coders will have to be retrained, as there is no one-to-one relationship for many codes
  • Changes will impact medical coding operations, software systems, reporting, administration, registration and more.


There will be a transition period prior to the October 1, 2013 go-live date, during which medical providers will have to submit either ICD-9 or ICD-10 codes, depending on the medical payers' readiness. Medical practices will have to upgrade to the new 5010 electronic claims and transaction code requirements from the existing 4010 1A in order to accommodate the expansion in the ICD-10 codes. Health plans, medical health care clearinghouses, covered health care providers, and business associates are required to be compliant by January 1, 2012


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