10 Ways ICD-10 Will Improve Quality of Care

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , December 1, 2011

4. Specifies reasons for patient non-compliance

As providers are increasingly held accountable for patient outcomes, a huge concern is how to classify the patient who fails to follow a recommended regimen of care and gets sicker as a result.

Under the current code, there is only one code for such a patient. But in ICD-10, there are at least eight. For example, one of the eight codes indicates these variations:

  • "Intentional underdosing due to financial hardship,"
  • "Unintentional underdosing due to age-related debility"
  • "Non-compliance with renal dialysis"

5. Allows for detailed data on injuries, accidents

One of the most interesting quality improvement potentials of ICD-10 is what it reveals about injuries, such as where they occur, what part of the body was injured, and what implements were used, alerting providers to common dangers.

For example, there are nine codes to describe mishaps involving baby strollers, such as a fall or collision with a stationary object. 

How specific? There's a code for an injury involving digging with a shovel. There are codes to identify injuries due to toxic effects from ingesting fiberglass, being injured by a lamppost, or being burned while on water skis. 

And there are copious codes to identify injuries involving non-human animals, including 14 for mishaps involving a horse.

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8 comments on "10 Ways ICD-10 Will Improve Quality of Care"

Jennifer Hamilton (1/12/2014 at 8:02 AM)
At the same time the public is demanding the US government "back off" on collecting information, medicine is about to introduce a dramatic increase in "data" for our government. And, please note, it will be tied to your electronic medical record. It is hard to argue with the need for updating the codes, but the dramatic increase in numbers, details and specifics is of concern. The cost will be real in time and money. To argue that one benefit is that it preserves and even grows the number of coders is shocking- increasing people who push paper and provide no care at the same time we are trying to cut cost?! This is a fantasy article by someone who has no clue what providing health care is about.

ralph (2/17/2012 at 12:48 PM)
I'm trying to understand how going from 14,000 CPT billing codes to 140,000 ICD-10 billing codes improves quality of medicine? It might improve the quality of live of bean counters who have to sort through this mess, but thats it. Thats why at www.medibid.com there are no billing codes, and patients save about 80% off of the billed rates

patient advocate (12/2/2011 at 2:30 PM)
Physician practices are provided with a substantial amount of money to ease the burden of modernizing their practice to use EHRs, and transitioning to ICD10 is certainly part of that. A $40,000+ investment by American tax payers that is available to all physicians that adopt new HIT technologies is a far cry from "and do it all at my own costs".




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