ICD-10 Benefits to Patients

In March I asked why we haven’t seen stories of all the benefits of ICD-10 to patients. Considering many other countries around the world have been using ICD-10 for years and years, I wondered why we hadn’t heard more stories of the benefits of ICD-10 to patients.

In the following video I asked Doris Gemmell, BSc, MBA, CHIM, Director of Coding Services at Accentus Inc. this same question and she provided a simple but thoughtful example of how ICD-10 could benefit the patient.

I’m also a big fan of Doris because she blogs about ICD-10 on her blog. I always love when smart people share their knowledge on a blog.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Great points! Differentiating 2 injuries that now sound the same but aren’t. And allowing for comprehensive population health analysis.

    Also, insurance companies match treatments to diagnosis, and when there are variations on a diagnosis – not handled in ICD9, they may see a treatment as not appropriate for a diagnosis when it actually is for a variant on that diagnosis. Case in point Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia. Some variations are treated with a certain MAB, some not so much. Some are treated with IVIG, some not. The base ICD9 code (283.0) doesn’t give an insurance company (or Medicare) enough information to make a sound decision on a given treatment.

    BTW, a side point; illnesses like AIHA are hard to work up proper treatment protocols for because there are not all that many patients, and those patients generate massive amounts of paper in their charts in a way that is hard to analyze for long term studies. Better diagnostic codes PLUS adoption of EHRs with good analytical capability could allow diseases like this to be effectively analyzed thus leading to better treatment protocols for the several variations that exist.

  • Done.

    The video helped me to begin to understand the possibilities. There has been lots of ridicule to the numerous codes for some issues (like arm fractures). But having a highly detailed breakdown in the codes has tremendous potential for improving analysis of injury and illness trends AND how they are treated. It may also be useful for spotting fraudulent claims.

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