Medical Billing & Coding Spotlight: ICD-10

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Laurus College Blog – Medical Billing & Coding Spotlight: ICD-10

Medical Billing & Coding Spotlight: ICD-10

by the Medical Billing & Coding Department

After nearly 30 years of development and planning, the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in the Health Care Industry is finally underway. Fortunately, students at Laurus College have been preparing for this change, and upon graduation, will be ready to enter the workforce with the skills health care providers are looking for.

What does ‘ICD’ mean?

ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases, which is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) system for standardizing codes for medical diagnoses and procedures. ICD-9 (the “9” refers to the 9th revision of the ICD) was the system used in the United States from 1979 until October 1, 2015, when ICD-10 (the 10th revision of the ICD) went into effect.

How is ICD-10 different?

ICD-10 is bigger and better. With the many advances and changes in medicine over the past several decades, ICD-9 had become outdated. Instead of the 3 to 5-digit codes we used with ICD-9, we now have 3 to 7-digit codes with ICD-10, and can create more than 69,000 diagnosis codes with the new coding system.

Pecked by a chicken? ICD-10 has a code for that -W61.33XA. Walked into a lamppost? Code W22.02XA would be billed for the initial encounter. These are just a couple examples of the thousands of ICD-10 codes now in use.

One of the exciting benefits of ICD-10 is that the additional codes will allow for the capture of more information, including data about signs, symptoms, risk factors, and comorbidities (when a patient has two or more conditions at the same time).

The transition to ICD-10 also means that the United States will be able to exchange health information with other health providers more easily across the globe to avoid delays in patient treatments.

How does the change to ICD-10 affect the Medical Billing Profession?

The transition to ICD-10 means that skilled and diligent health claims professionals are likely to be in even greater demand. Most physicians will struggle to adjust with the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, and will need educated medical billers and coders to assist them.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts a 15% increase in the need for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians from 2014-2024,(1) which is very exciting news for Medical Billing & Coding students!

Since ICD-10 training is included as part of the Medical Billing & Coding program at Laurus College, you’ll be ahead in the medical field with your knowledge and skills, and ready to take advantage of the job growth trend!

(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians,
on the Internet at (visited February 17, 2016).

For information, please contact Sheryl Munoz, Medical Billing & Coding Instructor at the Laurus College Oxnard Campus, at [phone-link location=””] or

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