ICD-10 '411'

December 8, 2010

How many new codes will there be in the ICD-10 CM and PCS code sets?

Question: I’m pretty confused about ICD-10. I hear conflicting things about how many codes there will be. I’ve heard that there are 60,000 plus diagnosis codes, then I hear numbers that are more than double that. Do they really know?

Answer: Yes, the ICD-10 codes sets are pretty well defined, but it is understandable that you could be confused. The ICD-10 CM - the diagnosis codes - has 69,101 codes with more to come in 2011. These include your signs and symptoms as well as E-codes and V-codes. This compares to 14,000 plus codes in the current ICD-9. These are the codes that physicians use on CMS-1500 forms to communicate why health services were provided.

But on the other end of the spectrum is what is called ICD-10 PCS. This is the newer version of the old ICD-9 Volume 3, the procedure codes traditionally used by hospitals to report procedures. ICD-10 PCS will contain close to 87,000 procedure codes compared to the current 4,000 or so ICD-9 CM procedure codes.

When you add together ICD-10 CM and ICD-10 PCS you have more than 150,000 codes.

Bill Dacey, CPC, MBA, MHA, is principal in the Dacey Group, a consulting firm dedicated to coding, billing, documentation, and compliance concerns. Dacey is a PMCC-certified instructor and has been active in physician training for more than 20 years. He can be reached at billdacey@msn.com or editor@physicianspractice.com.

This question originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Physicians Practice.