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How do Medicare ICD-10 diagnostic codes differ from WHO ICD-10 codes?

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Quick Answer

Medicare ICD-9 codes and WHO ICD-10 codes differ in several ways, and ICD-10 codes are more accurate. WHO ICD-10 codes will replace the ICD-9 codes so the health care industry can accurately track mortality and morbidity statistics, as stated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Full Answer

Medicare ICD-9 codes have been used by health care professionals since the late 1970s, so an update was necessary to reflect the many changes in medicine, according to the CDC. They allow health officials to track and compare state and national statistic due to their and restricted data. ICD-9 codes didn't allow health care providers to differentiate between various complexities of a given condition or procedure, such as the severity of a disease or operation.

The WHO ICD-10 codes allow health care providers to note these differences. With these new codes, there are now 19 times more procedure codes and five times as many diagnostic codes as before. In addition, the WHO ICD-10 codes have alphanumeric categories instead of just numeric ones, and some conditions are now part of different groups, the CDC says. Codes are now up to speed with the latest technological advances to track clinical procedures more accurately.

These differences will improve several key areas of understanding and tracking health conditions, according to the CDC. Health care professionals can now indicate minute details, such as where and how an injury occurred. They can also introduce new concepts and update terminology, which will improve the field of medicine.

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