ICD-10 Codes

ICD-10 Codes


Can your system handle it?

Effective October 1, 2015, the federal government will require that ICD-10 codes be used on insurance claims. ICD-9 will be rejected at that time. The transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will be extremely challenging for medical practices. Rather than business as usual, it will be a relearning and retooling process for most offices. Practices should NOW begin planning for the change.

The first step in your preparation is to immediately review your computer hardware/networks and EHR software to make certain you meet current industry standards.

Why is this important?

There are currently about 14,500 ICD-9 codes in use. ICD-10 will have over 70,000 codes with 500,000 multiple descriptions. The ICD-10 code sets include greater detail, changes in terminology, and expanded concepts for injuries, laterality, and other related factors. All the added volume of information and associated data processing will absolutely bog down computers that are not up to current industry standards. Please share this with your IT/hardware vendor.

American Medical Software is taking steps to help make the transition as painless as possible. We are incorporating technology so that when an ICD-9 code is entered, a table will pop up showing the available matching ICD-10 codes from which you will be able to select the correct code. It will take time to get familiar with using the new codes, so begin now by making sure you have up to date software and hardware in place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is ICD-10?

International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes are alphanumeric designations that providers assign to every medical diagnosis and description of symptoms for patients. ICD-10 is the 10th updated edition of these codes, which will replace the United States’ current ICD-9 system.

Q: Why are we changing to ICD-10?

There are multiple reasons for the change to ICD-10. The United States is the only country that currently is still using ICD-9, and the switch to ICD-10 will allow us to compare our healthcare data more accurately with other countries. ICD-10’s more expansive system will also help us better track data to measure the quality and safety of care, process claims for reimbursement, and improve clinical, financial and administrative performance.

Q: When will we begin using ICD-10?

The Department of Health and Humans Services has announced the compliance deadline is October 1, 2015.

Q: Is the switch to ICD-10 just for Medicare and Medicaid, or are other insurance companies changing too?

HIPAA mandates that all insurance plans in the United States make the transition to ICD-10.

Q: Why should I start preparing now for the ICD-10 transition now?

The transition to ICD-10 is a major undertaking for providers, payers and vendors. It will drive business and systems changes throughout the health care industry, from large national health plans to small provider offices, laboratories, medical testing centers, hospitals and more. To ensure a smooth transition, these organizations need to devote staff time and financial resources to transition activities. It is best to develop a transition plan now and start preparing your staff. A successful transition to ICD-10 will be vital to transforming our nation’s health care system and ensuring uninterrupted operations.

Q: What type of training will providers and staff need for the ICD-10 transition?

Training needs will vary for different organizations. For example, physician practice coders will need to learn ICD-10 diagnosis coding only, while hospital coders will need to learn both ICD-10 diagnosis and ICD-10 inpatient procedure coding. You and your staff should take advantage of specialty-specific ICD-10 training offered by societies and other professional organizations.


CMS and coding associations, such as AAPC, have resources to help providers prepare for a smooth transition to ICD-10. These organizations will continue to add new tools and information to their sites through the course of the transition, so visit regularly to access the latest information and training opportunities.

Have further questions about ICD-10? Contact the medical software experts at American Medical Software. We have been developing medical software for over 34 years!


ICD-10 is coming. AMS is ready, are you?

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