Fotolia_5759780_XSThe International Classification System for Diseases in the U.S. is used for reimbursement, general epidemiological public health surveillance, and health management. Its purpose is also for quality control and to better outcomes.

The tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases allows for external causes of mortality and morbidity to be reported. The codes that are in Chapter 20 cover external causes of injury, poisoning, and other consequences.

They also allow for the capturing of information and reporting of injuries or conditions resulting from domestic violence (DV). Under ICD-9, the section is Adult Maltreatment and Abuse and the section is 995.8. It covers codes for physically abused persons (spouse or woman), adult emotional or psychological abuse, adult sexual abuse, adult neglect, and other types of abuse and neglect inflicted on adults. However, ICD10 is going to show even more diagnosis codes for DV. The codes will help identify confirmed and unconfirmed cases, as well as cover child abuse in addition to adult abuse, neglect, and maltreatment.

The type of data that the diagnosis codes will cover includes confirmed cases, whether or not it was the first encounter or a subsequent encounter, and if the abuse is suspected. There will be many more codes to this section and these codes will be very important in gathering data about what happened to a patient, as well as the gathering of statistical information about abuse that is going on throughout the country. When comparing ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes in this section and various other sections, more information is relayed because of the deeper classifications.

Growing Concern about Domestic Violence

One of the reasons why domestic violence is one area in which the codes have been further expanded is because of the growing concern with it in the U.S. It is happening more and more. There is also a financial impact when it comes to domestic violence. In fact, any sort of violence against another person is going to cost the healthcare system more and that makes it essential to understand more about what is happening. The cost of partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year. $4.1 billion of that is for the direct medical and mental health services that are needed.

There is a presentation that has been put together that compares the code of ICD-9 to ICD-10 for the purpose of capturing domestic violence. The publication is available through the American Health Information Management Foundation and it is a thorough examination of how ICD-10 is to do a much better job at identifying domestic violence victims. It also displays why the ICD-10 code set was needed at the time it was adopted.

Enhanced Specificity of Codes

In addition to the enhancement of domestic violence codes, the specificity of codes as a whole is being expanded with ICD-10. This should allow healthcare professionals to be able to better track the occurrences and treatments of some issues, such as DV. The new diagnosis codes can lead to victims receiving more help. The medical information can also be used in domestic violence cases, allowing for more information to be admitted. Practitioners can also use the information to better detect, treat, and even prevent domestic violence.

This is just one of the types of medical issues that ICD-10 touches upon. Coding professionals will need to be vigilant in this area to ensure that all of the codes are entered properly. Basically, there are going to be more codes to deal with in some areas, while others will remain about the same. What ICD-10 is considered is a revision of the existing system, but it is a rather extensive revision, which is why it has taken a while for physicians and medical facilities to become compliant with the new standards.

The domestic violence example is just one discussion that shows that supporting ICD-10 for implementation on October 1, 2015 is the right thing to do for patients and the medical community. There are many advantages to more detailed medical records and billing codes that allow for insurance companies and individuals to be billed for the proper amounts rather than the incorrect amounts. It is expected that billing errors will be reduced, preventing the healthcare system from passing the increased costs down to the patients.