Crosswalking Between ICD-9 and ICD-10

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A critical issue associated with the transition to ICD-10 involves the matter of crosswalking between the ICD-9 and ICD-10 code sets. The term “crosswalking” is generally defined as the act of mapping or translating a code in one code set to a code or codes in another code set. There has been much discussion about how crosswalks will be used in the industry during the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
Understanding crosswalking will be important to physicians during the transition phase when learning which new ICD-10 code to use in place of an ICD-9 code, since there is not always a one to one match. The reasons for not having a one-to one match include:

  • There are new concepts in ICD-10 that are not present in ICD-9-CM
  • For a small number of codes, there is no matching code in the GEMs
  • There may be multiple ICD-9-CM codes for a single ICD-10 code
  • There may be multiple ICD-10 codes for a single ICD-9-CM code

Uses of Crosswalking
Crosswalking between ICD-10 and ICD-9 should be done primarily to assist with transitioning to ICD-10 and analyze data that spans the conversion time period. To assist with transitioning, crosswalking between the code sets will assist you with identifying the differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10.

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