American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine


Effective Oct. 1, 2015, practices across the nation were required to begin using the ICD-10 code set, which includes nearly 70,000 diagnosis codes in contrast to ICD-9's more than 14,000 codes.


Although the increased number of codes may seem daunting, a wealth of tools and resources are available to help you transition smoothly:

  • The AOA developed an ICD-10-CM Transition Workbook to guide your practice through the process of moving from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Wherever you are in your ICD-10 journey, this workbook will provide practical tips and examples of proper medical documentation.

  • CMS recently released a Quick Start Guide to ICD-10 that focuses on quick references and key steps physicians can take to implement the Oct. 1 transition.

  • A list of ICD-10 Codes for Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment can help with coding for OMT.

If you are in need of additional support regarding ICD-10 processing issues, contact the AOA at ​​​​​


 Common Questions about ICD-10



​How Will ICD-10 Affect My Practice?

The new version of this code set is vastly different than ICD-9, both in structure and in meaning. Here's a look at what these changes mean for your practice:

  • Your favorite codes on your office superbills or in your practice management software can no longer be used.

  • Not only are the codes changing (there will be seven positions rather than five), but the code set is expanding from around 13,000 ICD-9 diagnosis codes to around 65,000 ICD-10 diagnosis codes.

  • Coding for inpatient hospital procedures is also changing from ICD-9 to -10, so hospitals are also greatly impacted by this change.

Why the Change?
  • The ICD-9 code set is outdated and running out of space for new codes.

  • The terminology used is from the 1980s and does not accurately reflect the changes in practice, the discovery of new diseases and treatments, and some of the recommended standards of treatment which have become widespread. 

  • ICD-9 is no longer capable of capturing important information for public health tracking, research, and improvement; nor can it support the recent needs for biosurveillance. 

  • Quality measurement – a key component of changing health care reimbursement models – was stymied by the lack of specificity in the ICD-9 code set.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The information in this section was written by Stanley Nachimson. Nachimson is the author of the authoritative paper on the cost of ICD-10 for physician practices and is co-chairing the HIMSS ICD-10 Task Force. He is principal of Nachimson Advisors, a health IT consulting firm.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


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