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HHS to upgrade code sets for use in electronic healthcare systems


WASHINGTON The Department of Health and Human Services plans to replace its ICD-9 code sets, which contain 17,000 codes used in electronic healthcare systems to represent various diagnoses and medical procedures, according to the trade publication Healthcare IT News.

The department plans to replace the sets with the ICD-10 code sets, which contain 155,000 codes, many for new diagnoses and procedures, and are seen as essential to supporting electronic healthcare systems. Secretary Michael Leavitt said the expanded set will enable the department to support quality reporting, pay-for-performance, bio-surveillance and other critical activities.

The original ICD-9 was developed 30 years ago, and many see it as outdated.

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