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UIC information specialists ease switch to new healthcare codes
Date:5/15/2013

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have developed a website that walks healthcare providers through the challenging transition from the current International Classification of Diseases -- ICD-9 -- to the new ICD-10.

Doctors, hospitals and all other healthcare providers have until October 2014 to switch to the new coding system, used to classify every disease or condition and in every aspect of healthcare from ordering supplies to insurance reimbursement.

The switch won't be easy -- the number of codes has grown from 14,000 to 68,000. The AMA estimates the administrative costs for physicians will be $87,000 to $2.7 million per practice, plus potential losses in reimbursement due to incorrect coding.

The UIC team created a web-based tool to help physicians, hospitals and clinics make the transition without the need to hire experts. The study is available online in advance of print in JAMIA, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

They also identified the diseases presenting the greatest reporting complexity.

The study shows that the transition to ICD-10 is likely to be far more costly and disruptive than previously reported -- particularly for a subset of specialists, says Yves Lussier, UIC professor of medicine and engineering in medicine, and principal investigator on the study.

"We show that the translations to ICD-10 are organized into clusters of two or more somewhat related codes," Lussier said. "Many ICD-9 clusters map to many ICD-10 codes, and many ICD-10 codes map back to a significantly different cluster of ICD-9 codes."

"It's not one-to-one, it's not one-to-many, it's many-to-one," said Dr. Andrew Boyd, assistant professor in biomedical and health information sciences at UIC and first author of the study. "It's convoluted, it's entangled. When you map one ICD onto the other, it looks like a star map."

"Most physicians only use about ten codes
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Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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