Although it does not go into effect in the U.S. until 2014, the WHO updated ICD-10 in 1990, and other countries began adopting ICD-10 in 1994. Specific improvements contained in ICD-10 include, “the addition of information relevant to ambulatory and managed care encounters; expanded injury codes; the creation of combination diagnosis/symptom codes to reduce the number of codes needed to fully describe a condition; the addition of sixth and seventh characters; incorporation of common 4th and 5th digit sub classifications; laterality; and greater specificity in code assignment. The new structure will allow further expansion than was possible with ICD-9-CM.” Waiting to implement ICD-10 has arguably been advantageous to the U.S. as it has been able to learn valuable lessons from other countries’ implementation. Despite this global insight, though, the U.S. healthcare system still faces numerous ICD-10 implementation challenges.
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