ICD-10 coding will take effect on October 2015.  It is described as the VIN (vehicle identification number) of diagnoses.  ICD-10 coding is unique to each patient.  Therefore, coding ICD-10 is very specific.  The codes can range from 3 – 7 characters.


1st, 2nd, 3rd Digits 4th, 5th, 6th Digits 7th Digit
7th Digit 4th Numeric 7th Alpha
2nd Numeric 5th Numeric
3rd Alphanumeric 6th Alphanumeric


Category Etiology, Anatomic Site, Severity Injuries & External Causes
S91 322 D
T78 01X A
S82  62X D

Example 1: Laceration, left foot, with foreign body.  The ICD-10 code is S91.322A.

Example 2:  Anaphylactic reaction due to eating peanuts.  The ICD-10 code is T78.01XA. 

Example 3: Displaced fracture, lateral malleolus left fibula, subsequent encounter, routine healing.  The ICD-10 code is S82.62XD.

Note.  If there is an external cause or injury, an “X” will be required in the 5th and 6th digits, when the 5th or 6th digits are not present.  Refer to example 3 above.

When coding, it is not recommended to use “Unspecified codes.”  It will cause claims to deny as not medically necessary, or delay processing until medical records are received.

The following website will assist you on coding.  This website will be as specific as the ICD-10 coding book.  https://icd10.pythonanywhere.com/ICD10/default/index

After September 30, 2015 the ICD-9 codes will be obsolete. Claims with dates of service through  9/30/2015  will be billed with ICD-9.  Don’t wait until October 2015 to get familiar with ICD-10.  I recommend that you attend a related seminar.