6. Tracks healthcare-associated conditions
The ICD-10 code allows much greater explanation and accountability for adverse events that can occur within healthcare institutions. For example, there are at least 50 categories for a foreign object, whether the patient came in with it or not. And if a fall or other mishap occurred within a hospital, the location is specified as the bathroom, cafeteria, corridor, the operating room or the patient's room.
7. Specifies procedures by degree of difficulty
The new codes allow certain procedures to be subdivided by difficulty. Bowman says that under ICD-9, there is only one code for artery suture, but in ICD-10, there are 195: Four different approaches and 67 possible arteries. Though some are far more difficult than others, under the current code set, they are all lumped together.
8. Allows for more precision in reporting complications from medical devices
In the current system, a patient death or serious disability due to a device malfunction or breakdown is classified as 996.1: Mechanical complication of other vascular device, implant, and graft.
ICD-10 allows providers to be much more precise in describing the nature of the malfunction. The new code differentiates whether there is a mechanical breakdown of a vascular dialysis catheter, an arteriovenous shunt, a balloon counterpulsation device, or an umbrella device.