The ICD 10 CM code classification system for diagnosis and procedures finally came into effect on October 1, 2015, quite some time after it was planned to be implemented. The new system, compared to ICD 9, provided a huge expansion. In ICD 9, there were 3,838 procedure codes and 14,315 diagnosis codes, which was already quite a large database. The ICD 10, by contrast, has 71,957 procedure codes and 69,101 diagnosis codes. These codes are vital for hospitals and clinics and other health care settings in order to make sure they get paid for any services that they provide. As with all changes, the transition from ICD 9 to ICD 10 was, and continues to be, very difficult. However, it is possible to use an ICD 10 CM code lookup & conversion tool in order to make things easier. There are quite a few translation tools available online that make these conversions possible.

If you do find an online ICD 10 CM code lookup & conversion tool, you must make sure that it was created using the right sources. These include the 3M Health Information Systems, American Hospital Association, American Health Information Management Association, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Together, they created the General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs), which is the most accurate tool for conversions.

It is also important to remember that it is quite common not to get an exact match. Just as with spoken languages, there is not always an exact translation for a specific word. As such, when you use an ICD 10 CM code lookup & conversion, you may find that there are multiple matches, no matches, or approximate matches. When you consider that there are five times more ICD 10 codes than what there were ICD 9 codes, this should not come as a great surprise.

ICD 9 to ICD 10 Exact Matches:

There are a number of conditions where there is a specific code in ICD 9 and for which there is also a specific code in ICD 10. What you must remember, however, is that the code itself will not be the same. It only means that the procedure or diagnosis exists in both publications. An example is 131.01, which is the ICD 9 code for Trichomonal Vulvovaginitis. In ICD 10, the code for Trichomonal Vulvovaginitis is A59.01.

ICD 9 to ICD 10 Approximate Matches:

Because ICD 10 has increased the specificity and detail to a great degree, it is common to not find an exact match between the two code systems. As such, you may have to delve a little bit deeper. For instance, the ICD 9 code 599.72 corresponds to Microscopic Hematuria. In ICD 10, this could be R31.1, corresponding to Benign Essential Microscopic Hematuria, or it could correspond to R31.2, which is Other Microscopic Hematuria.

ICD 9 to ICD 10 No Matches:

Finally, it is possible for there to be no match at all. For instance, ICD 9 code 707.20, Pressure Ulcer, Unspecified Stage Pressure Ulcer does not have an equivalent in ICD 10. It is more likely, however, for there to be an ICD 10 code for which there is no match in the ICD 9.