The World Health Organization (WHO) updates ICD codes every few years to improve clinical use and acknowledge innovation in healthcare. Medical practices and hospitals spent significant time and resources organising for and familiarising to ICD-10, but in May 2019 the World Health Organization announced the new release of the International Classification of Diseases, Eleventh Edition (ICD-11). The good news is that your medical practice has some time to prepare for the changes. Countries may start using ICD-11 on January 1, 2022, although there’s been no decision on when and how the United States will begin implementing ICD-11.
What is ICD-11?
The ICD refers to the International Classification of Diseases, an attempt to use one set of diagnoses internationally. In January 2022, healthcare providers in the United States are expected to start using the 11th edition.
This is the most significant change to disease classification since ICD-9 was retired in 2015. Currently, ICD-10 represents about 14,000 distinct diagnoses. ICD-11 has 55,000+ unique codes to represent a more comprehensive list of diagnoses. This update is a game-changer for the health and wellness industry because it recognizes several common diagnoses that were previously overlooked in ICD-10.
ICD–11 has five new chapters, and as a result, the numbering of the chapters has changed. The new chapters are:
- Chapter 3: Diseases of the blood or blood-forming organs
- Chapter 4: Disorders of the immune system (blood and immune system conditions now make up two separate chapters)
- Chapter 7: Sleep-wake disorders
- Chapter 17: Conditions related to sexual health
- Chapter 27: Traditional Medicine
In reference to the new chapter, traditional medicine: although people across the globe use traditional medicine, it has never before been classified in this system. Also, a new chapter on sexual health brings together conditions that were previously categorized in other ways (for example, gender incongruence was listed under mental health conditions) or described differently.
Many of the issues experienced with ICD-10 are proposed to be solved with ICD-11. As an example, ICD-11 includes HIV subdivisions, simplified diabetes coding, melanoma types, and better classification of valve diseases, to name a few changes. ICD-11 will also affect extension codes indicating temporality, severity, dimensions of injury, and external causes. Another new concept of ICD-11 is the function of clustering of codes that combines two or more codes to describe a diagnostic entity.
It is still undetermined whether the U.S. will create a modification of ICD-11, as it did with ICD-10 CM, which may be another factor in a possible delay. Additionally, the COVID-19 global pandemic has had an impact on a potential pushback of the date.
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