In a move some say will help with implementation of EMRs, the Department of Health and Human Services wants to move the coding of medical bills to ICD-10 by October 2011 -- with 155,000 codes that can accommodate advances in diagnoses and procedures. Medical bills currently use ICD-9 code sets, with 17,000 different codes. "The greatly expanded ICD-10 code sets will enable HHS to fully support quality reporting, pay-for-performance, bio-surveillance and other critical activities," said HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, who also noted that the switch is essential for full implementation of HIT.

Related Summaries