The Capacity of ICD-10-CM/PCS to Characterize Surgical Care

Garth H Utter, Kevin M. Schuster, Preston R. Miller, Nathan T. Mowery, Suresh K. Agarwal, Robert J. Winchell, Marie L. Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


SUMMARY ABSTRACT: The International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, Clinical Modification and Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-CM/PCS) have been in effect since October 1, 2015 and offer much greater capacity than previous classifications to characterize the nature and treatment of surgical conditions. However, the diagnosis codes of ICD-10-CM are unevenly specific across the spectrum of surgical conditions and currently do not adequately allow description of important distinctions in disease severity for many common surgical conditions. Through our work on the Patient Assessment Committee of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, we sought changes to ICD-10-CM to allow for better characterization of the severity of several common emergency general surgical conditions, such as acute appendicitis and acute pancreatitis. The ICD Coordination and Maintenance Committee periodically entertains requests to improve ICD-10-CM/PCS through a formal process with public input; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, in coordination with other agencies and organizations, issue annual updates to these classifications. We describe some potential improvements to ICD-10-CM/PCS as well as how individuals and organizations can propose and effect such changes. With the next parent classification for mortality reporting (ICD-11) currently in development by the World Health Organization, now is also an opportune time to request changes that eventually would be incorporated into the future U.S. version of ICD-11 for morbidity reporting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - May 22 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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