"You won’t read about the International Classification of Disease (ICD) on TMZ or hear it discussed on The View,
but it has the potential to be an unpleasant October surprise in the
health care world. It is a list of codes that physicians and hospitals
use when billing insurance companies. These codes cover all manner of
medical diagnoses for diseases, conditions, and injuries.
current version, the ICD-9, uses a 4- or 5-digit number to code for a
particular disease, such as 540.9 for appendicitis. The ICD-10 will
have up to 7 alphanumeric characters
to specify a condition, such as S52.521A for “torus fracture of lower
end of right radius, initial encounter for closed fracture.” And there
are now over five times as many codes for doctors and hospitals to
medical practices and hospitals must know and have all of these 68 thousand codes readily available to add to the medical record in order to bill correctly and hope to be paid. One more distraction for physicians, aside from all of the daily distractions of electronic records."