Understanding ICD-10 Codes and Why They’re Important

Understanding ICD-10 Codes and Why They’re Important


ICD-10 stands for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision. Many people shorten that to International Classification of Diseases. These codes are copyrighted, published, and updated periodically by the World Health Organization.

What Exactly are ICD-10 Codes?

ICD-10 codes are alphanumeric codes used by doctors, healthcare consulting firms, and public health agencies all over the globe to represent different diagnoses. Every disease, injury, and symptom has its own ICD-10 code. ICD-10 codes are used for everything from processing health insurance claims to tracking disease epidemics and compiling worldwide mortality statistics (searchhealthit.com). All Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (or HIPAA) covered organizations must comply with ICD-10 codes, as instructed by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.

Why are ICD-10 Codes Important?

Healthcare providers and healthcare consultants dealing with ICD-10 codes have a better understanding of their patient populations and the conditions that affect them. Not only can providers make more informed treatment decisions, they also have better information for patients’ health information management. On the other end of the spectrum, medical coders reading medical records determine the diagnoses from those records, and translate the diagnoses into ICD-10 codes. Once the medical record has been coded by the coder, the data or coded claim can be sent to the coinciding health insurance company for processing.

Main Benefits of ICD-10 Codes

  • Improving the accuracy of diagnosis codes
  • Offering updated medical terminology and disease classifications
  • Supporting reimbursement models that pay doctors more for complex issues
  • Providing better data for the study of diseases and their patterns
  • Improving payment efficiency and preventing errors
  • Refining the overall efficiency of the healthcare industry


CMS has already provided ICD-10 Procedure Coding System updates for the fiscal year 2020, beginning Oct. 1, 2019 and ending Sept. 30, 2020. Be sure to check out our Education Website to access the ICD-10 10-1-19 Updates for FY2020 and stay ahead of the curve!

YES HIM Consulting


Subscribe to our Newsletter


  • By clicking Submit, you agree to YES HIM Consulting's Privacy Policy.