Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ICD-10-CM is NOT a nomenclature

In this article about the lengths to which organizations must go to 'upgrade' to ICD-10-CM, the author refers to ICD-10-CM as a 'nomenclature'.

ICD-10-CM, as its formal name indicates, is a classification, not a nomenclature. Its formal name is the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), as listed on the web site of the government agency that created it from ICD-10.

For example, ICD-10-CM code K83.8 refers to Other specified diseases of the biliary tract. This class of diseases includes multiple individual diseases such as: adhesions of biliary tract, atrophy of biliary tract, hypertrophy of biliary tract, and ulcer of biliary tract.

A nomenclature, by contrast, would have codes for each of these diseases that ICD-10-CM lumps together under the single code K83.8.

So, unfortunately, misinformation about ICD-10-CM continues. Were it truly a nomenclature, and a good one, then it would truly be a worthwhile upgrade.