Basic Differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10

Understanding the following six main differences should assist you and your staff with the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 on October 1, 2014:


  1.  ICD-10 codes are alpha numeric and up to seven characters in length; ICD-9 codes are only three to five characters.
  2. ICD-10 has 21 chapters; ICD-9 has 18.
  3.  ICD-9’s V and E codes are incorporated into the main classification in the ICD-10 code:
    1. Placeholders (X) are required to hold places followed by additional characters.
    2. Seventh characters are required for obstetrics, injures, and external causes of injuries.
    3. Post-operative complications will now be located specific to the procedure-specific body system.
  4. ICD-10 will classify injuries first by specific site and then by type of injury.  ICD-9 classified injuries by type.
  5. ICD-10 includes full code titles for all codes, so it is not necessary to reference back to common fourth and fifth digit categories.
  6. ICD-10 has combination codes for conditions and common symptoms or manifestations, for example E10.21 (Type 1 diabetes mellitus with diabetic nephropathy) and N30.01 (Acute cystitis with hematuria).