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10 Most Confusing ICD 10 Codes that you Might not be Aware of

ICD 10 breakdown

ICD 10 breakdown

ICD 10 codes are the 10th revised set of codes of International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, better known as the ICD. These codes are classified according to the World Health Organization guidelines. These codes are used to diagnose diseases, external injuries, signs, symptoms and other patient complaints. ICD 10 codes have been introduced and are in effect since 1st October 2015.

Before we jump into the core, let’s get ourselves a little familiar with these codes.

The World Health Organization has provided access to all these codes and their uses online. As of now, there are more than 14000 codes that are present to classify diseases and ailments, which can be increased to a further 16000 with sub classification.

The breakdown of the structure of the codes is as following-

  • Characters 1 to 3 related to the category of the disease.
  • Character 4 defines the etiology of the diseases.
  • Character 5 tells us the part of the body affected.
  • Character 6 is the severity of the ailment.
  • Character 7 is used as the extension of the code to increase the specifics.

All ICD 10 codes have been developed using the previous model of ICD 9, just with modifications to enhance the ease of carrying out the medical procedure. All codes and guidelines have been developed within the HIPAA guidelines and make the medical task easy for both the patients and physicians alike.

Since the system is relatively new, many people find the ICD 10 codes very confusing and inconvenient. They are rather easy to use, once we get to know how they really work. You can refer to the points above regarding the classification of the codes. However, since the system is new, there are still some codes which are very confusing, owing to the fact that these codes can be extended to a sub classification using additional characters.

United States has a much more detailed classification of ICD 10 codes than most countries. The ICD 10 Clinical Modifications(CM) has around 68000 codes. The United States also has ICD 10 PCS, which stands for Procedure Coding System, which has more than 76000 codes. This is more than that of any other country’s usage.

I have listed a few codes that have come to my notice that are most confusing amongst patients-

  1. A20-A28– Zoonotic bacterial diseases.
  2. A65-A69– Spirochetal Diseases.
  3. F10-F19– Mental and behavioral disorders due to usage of psychoactive substances.
  4. F70-F79– Intellectual disorders.
  5. H65-H75– Middle ear and mastoid.
  6. H59-H59– Intra-operative and post-procedural complications of retina and adnexa.
  7. I00-I02– Acute rheumatic Fever.
  8. L76-L76– Intra-operative and post-procedural complications of skin and subcutaneous tissue.
  9. Q90-Q99– Chromosomal Abnormalities.
  10. W00-W19– Slipping, tripping, stumbling and falls.

All ICD 10 codes have been thoroughly revised and based within the HIPAA guidelines.