Don't Like ICD-10? Don't Worry -- ICD-11 Is on the Horizon
Written by Editor   
Friday, April 10, 2015 12:00 AM

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), which coordinates implementation of the coding system, "ICD is currently under revision, through an ongoing Revision Process, and the release date for ICD-11 is 2017."

ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases; the system has been in use since 1948 (although an earlier version known as the International List of Causes of Death was first issued in 1893). The ICD "is the international standard for defining and reporting diseases and health conditions," the WHO says on its website. "It allows the world to compare and share health information using a common language."

How much different ICD-11 will be from ICD-10 is hard to say, since it's still in development.  "It's similar in that it's alphanumeric."  As for when the U.S. is going to take up ICD-11, that's hard to say. "The World Health Assembly adopted ICD-10 in 1990 and we still haven't adopted it in the U.S., so I hope it doesn't take that long but it gives you some idea. I think we'll have ICD 10 for a good 15-20 years, at least."

"Coding only becomes more complex; it never gets any simpler. ICD-11 is going in in Europe in the not-too-distant future, and it's possible that by 2020 -- which is going to be here before you know it -- that ICD-12 will be out ... By 2018 we'll be thinking about what the next great thing is."

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which plays a major part in implementing the ICD system in the U.S., says in a fact sheet issued in February that "it is not feasible to skip directly to ICD-11 because ICD-10 is a foundational building block prior to moving to ICD-11.