Necessity and implications of ICD-10: facts and fallacies

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First Review

The following is an article review of Necessity and implications of ICD-10: facts and fallacies.” by Hirsch et al.,. [1]


The review mainly focused on the mandated implementation of International Classification of Diseases -10 (ICD-10) that was scheduled for October 1, 2013 with arguments from both supporters and critics. It included ICD information on historical background, evolution, and structure.


The writers created the following tables comparing ICD-9 and ICD-10:

∗ highlighted the differences for each chapter number and title

∗ included comparison made by the World Health Organization (WHO)

∗ provided examples for codes for spondylosis, displacement of intervertebral disc, multiple changes in degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, cervical/thoracic/lumbar radiculitis, complex regional pain syndrome

∗ used reviews from other journals.


ICD-10 system supporters stated that health care quality would improve due to the increase in detailed coding mapping to conditions. The management of diseases would be more effective and allow for pay-for-performance programs.

Non-supporters were concerned by startup costs for physicians, complexity of codes and associated expenses. Other areas of concern included fraud.


The authors concluded that ICD-10 has several issues that have not been addressed. Their findings disclosed that the majority of physicians and hospitals were overwhelmed by the current system and sense that ICD-10 will be to complex. The concern is that ICD-10 would impact health care access and quality.


More research was completed for the non-supportive view. The supportive main points did state out the importance of master data management; however, research was limited and could have included more examples of benefits.

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Second Review

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  1. Hirsch, J. A., Falco, F. J. E., & Manchikanti, L. (2012). Necessity and implications of ICD-10: facts and fallacies. Pain Physician, 15(2), E153.>