ICD-10 Transition Will Be Convoluted, Study Finds | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

ICD-10 Transition Will Be Convoluted, Study Finds

May 8, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

According to a recent study headed by researchers at the University of Illinois, the oft-controversial transition to the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) code set will be a challenge for many providers thanks to convoluted conversion mappings.  The convoluted, or complex, entangled, and non-reciprocal, mappings will possibly impact a provider’s staffing, supply management, and clinical revenue, the researchers found.

For the study, the researchers used datasets from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) ICD-9 to ICD-10 mapping files, general equivalence mappings, and statewide Medicaid emergency department billing. The mappings were divided by the researchers into five categories: identity, class-to-subclass, subclass-to-class, convoluted, and no mapping.

Overall, 60 percent of the ICD-9 codes are “non-entangled motifs,” which would map without discontinuity and should be immediately interpretable. However, it’s those remaining convoluted codes, which accounted for 36 percent of the codes the researchers looked at, which could cause problems.  In one study, where the researchers looked at 24,008 clinical encounters in 217 emergency departments, 27 percent of the costs were associated with convoluted diagnoses.

The researchers say the convoluted mappings range from 5 percent in hematology to 60 percent in obstetrics and injuries. Forty-two percent of infectious disease code mappings remain convoluted, which will impact most specialties, the researchers say.

In the conclusion, the researchers say, “training of personnel and management resources of clinical specialties should focus on the frequently used and complex mapping motifs to ensure a successful transition to ICD-10-CM.”

The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The ICD-10 transition is set to take place officially on Oct. 1, 2014. Some studies have shown that small-to-midsized hospitals are having trouble transitioning to the new code-set, while others have indicated this is the case for all of healthcare.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Circulation, Buoy Health Collaborate on Integrated Platform for Patient Transportation

Boston-based startup Circulation Health, a ride-ordering exchange that coordinates medical transportation logistics using Lyft and other transportation partners, is partnering with Buoy Health, also based in Boston, to integrate their platforms to provide patients with an end-to-end healthcare experience.

HITRUST Provides NIST Cybersecurity Framework Certification

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), security and privacy standards development and accreditation organization, announced this week a certification program for the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (Framework).

Report: Interoperability in NHS England Faces Similar Barriers as U.S. Healthcare

Electronic patient record interoperability in NHS England is benefiting patient care, but interoperability efforts are facing barriers, including limited data sharing and cumbersome processes falling outside of the clinician workflow, according to a KLAS Research report.

Geisinger National Precision Health Hires Illumina Exec to Lead Business Development

Integrated health system Geisinger has hired a high-profile genetic counselor to head up business development for Geisinger National Precision Health, which was created to extend the Geisinger model on the national scene.

$30M VC Fund Launched to Spur Innovation in Cardiovascular Care

The American Heart Association, together with Philips and UPMC, has announced the launch of Cardeation Capital, a $30 million collaborative venture capital fund designed to spur healthcare innovation in heart disease and stroke care.