ICD‐9 AND ICD‐10 Diagnosis Code Format and Differences

ICD‐9‐CM diagnosis codes vs ICD‐10‐CM diagnosis codes

  • 3‐5 characters in length vs 3‐7 characters in length
  • Approximately 14,000 codes vs Approximately 69,000 available codes
  • First digit may be alpha (E or V) or numeric & Digits 2‐5 are numeric vs Digit one is alpha & Digits two and three are numeric & Digits 4‐7 are alpha or numeric
  • Limited space for adding new codes vs Flexible for adding new codes
  • Lacks detail vs Very specific
  • Lacks laterality vs Has laterality
  • Difficult to analyze data due to nonspecific codes vs Specificity improves coding accuracy and richness of data for analysis
  • Codes are non‐specific and do not adequately define diagnosis needed for medical research vs Detail improves the accuracy of data used for medical research
  • Does not support interoperability because it is not used by other countries vs Supports interoperability and the exchange of health data between other countries and the United States
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