ICD-9-CM means International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification. This system is used officially in the United States for classifying and assigning codes to different health conditions. ICD-9 system is made up of alphanumerical codes representing specific diagnoses and the recorded procedures in the hospital care.
Impact of the ICD-9 System
It is evident that the use of ICD-9 system which employs standardized codes has led to improved consistency among doctors or physicians with regard to recording a patient’s diagnoses and symptoms.
Over the years, several changes have been made to the ICD-9 CM codes for instance in the year 2006, 173 new codes were introduced, 14 codes deleted and 28 codes were revised. These changes affect doctors and medical care providers since they increase the complexity of the ICD-9 CM system. Moreover, these changes may lead to exposure of medical care providers both financially and legally, which is inappropriate.
However, it is essential to note that proper use of these diagnoses codes enhances the level of health care services provided and also improves medical procedures done. Inappropriate use of the codes result to either under-coding which greatly affects the medical operation revenue or over-coding which results to exposure of doctors to potential misconduct under given state regulations and laws.
Since ICD-9 codes are many and quite complex, there is need for doctors and medical care providers to understand the various classifications of the codes including the sub-classifications. Understanding of these codes will enable proper diagnosis and identification of various health disorders.
In conclusion, it is evident that the ICD-9 CM system is of the essence since it has led to general improvement of the health care system through a comprehensive system of delivering medical information with a high degree of consistency.