Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The blogosphere recognizes the pitfalls of ICD-10-CM

The blogosphere is coming to the realization that ICD-10-CM has substantial problems.

Dr. Wes, in a post on October 25th entitled "Ten Times the Fun," laments:

Imagine, 290 codes just for diabetes! Yeeeee haaaaa! Diabetes with foot ulcers on the right foot gets one code, diabetes with foot ulcers on the left foot gets another code, diabetes with foot ulcers on both feet, but not involving the shins gets another code... I mean, a new code for every nuance of disease! You get the drift! Isn't this SPECIAL? Just think of the COST SAVINGS those clever bureaucrats have found!

Meanwhile, Richard Elmore in a post on his Healthcare Technology News blog on October 29th, entitled "More painful than an insect bite? ICD-10 cost-benefit for healthcare providers," lists all 87 ICD-10-CM codes for diagnoses of insect bites. These 87 codes replace 18 ICD-9-CM codes, a 4.8 fold increase.

Mr. HISTalk linked to Dr Wes' post in his October 27th entry. Mr. HISTalk also linked to Richard Elmore's post in his October 31st entry.

Readers of Mr. HISTalk are similarly not impressed with ICD-10-CM. Comments from Mr. HISTalk readers (not including the comments of yours truly) include the following:

The lists of codes are in general a slavish enumeration of nearly every possible combination of pathology, anatomic location, laterality, and ordinality of visit.

[NCHS] are distributing it [ICD-10-CM] in a text file to:

1. Reduce the most “arduous” task - writing an upload and deduplication routine
2. Keep a non-Government entity (3M?) on the payroll to “manage” the process for them

Disease classification as patronage?

The blogosphere isn't fooled. ICD-10-CM is a poorly designed and executed boondoggle.

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