ICD-11 2017 Changes: What to Expect

It seems like just yesterday that the release of ICD-10 rocked the medical industry. As a medical professional, when the October 1st, 2015 implementation deadline came and went, you most likely breathed a sigh of relief that you survived the implementation. However, soon after, the realization set in: you had to learn to navigate the 68,000 new codes that came with ICD-10. Now, just when you are getting used to ICD-10, it is time to talk ICD-11. That’s right. The new International Classification of Disease (ICD) guidelines are set to be released from development in 2017, although a delay in release is likely.

Although ICD-10 was developed in 1990, it was not adopted in the United States until 2015. ICD-11, which was developed in 2007, builds upon ICD-10, but the exact date of release is unknown, with some estimating that the adoption could be as late as 2023. A delayed adoption is not surprising, considering it took the United States 25 years to implement ICD-10.

At this time, a beta-draft of ICD-11 is available for public use. Once ICD-11 is released from development, it will enter into a vigorous quality assurance process. From there, it will be tested in a healthcare setting. Once all of these steps are complete, it will be rolled out industry-wide.

The healthcare testing phase of the ICD-11 rollout is extremely important because the feedback will aid in implementing changes to the ICD-11 process. The good news for healthcare providers is that ICD-11 builds upon ICD-10, so it should not be as large of an adjustment as ICD-10 was. If you are wondering what changes you can expect, below is a list of what we are predicting.

ICD-11 Proposed 2017 Changes:

  • Inclusion of key descriptions and definitions of each entity/category, which were not available with ICD-10
  • A Foundation Component, also known as a semantic network of words and terms, that will be complex enough to classify the following and more:
    • Mortality
    • Morbidity
    • Primary care
    • Clinical care
    • Research
    • Public health
  • Categories will be defined by logical operation rules
  • ICD-11 will link with terminologies such as SNOMED CT
  • Will include international multilingual reference standard for scientific comparability

In summary, it appears that ICD-11 will be much more of a digital product and will make usage of the coding system more integrative and user friendly. For medical providers who are still struggling with the limitations of the ICD-10 system, the arrival of ICD-11 is greatly anticipated.

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