ICD-10 to ICD-11: Key Differences and What They Mean for Medical Coding in 2023 June 2, 2023

icd 11

Implementing the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), 10 marked the dawn of a new era in diagnostic coding. Moreover, the ICD-10 medical coding system is the tenth edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which provides greater specificity when describing a patient’s health condition, injury, or disease. 

It is still a common question among healthcare providers “When was ICD-10 implemented?”The World Health Organization authorized the publication, and its implementation began on October 15, 2015. The ICD-10 code system allows companies that bill and code for medical services to report anatomic sites, etiologies, comorbidities, and complications in medical records. 

On the other hand, the transition to ICD-11 wasn’t long in coming, but by now, some healthcare professionals are slowly adapting to the new system. When did ICD-11 come out? On June 18, 2018, ICD-11 was officially released and went into effect on January 1, 2022. 

While ICD-11 will take some time to implement in the U.S.A., providers should reflect on how things have changed since ICD-10 was implemented – and what changes ICD-11 will bring.

Here we describe the key differences between ICD-10 and ICD-11 and what they mean for medical coding in 2023.

ICD-10 vs. ICD-11: What Are the Differences?

The ICD-11 has been updated to incorporate new health conditions and make data recordkeeping more accessible in the digital age. Moreover, this disease classification system addresses the gaps in ICD-10 by providing new updates, like new methods, discoveries, and ways of thinking that have become typical in modern healthcare.

Below are five things that make ICD-11 different from ICD-10:

  • Structure of Coding

ICD-11 organizes and codes information more efficiently than ICD-10. This classification system provides more detail and specificity for diseases, disorders, injuries, and causes of death. As a healthcare provider, you can use it to categorize various conditions, including diagnoses from mainstream and traditional medicine. In contrast to ICD-10, which had only 14,000 codes, the new version has 55,000.

  • Conditions Related to Mental Health

ICD-11 now includes several additional mental, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental conditions. These new disorders include anxiety or fear-related disorders, dissociative disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, mood disorders, impulse control disorders, and obsessive-compulsive or related disorders. A detailed description accompanies each of these mental disorders listed in ICD-11. As a provider, you will better understand mental illness and its treatment if you have more specific details.

  • Applicability to a Broad Range of Cultures

Since ICD-11 is more global, it offers guidance for a wide range of cultures and is available in more than 50 languages. The result will be greater standardization, collaboration, and interoperability through a global classification of codes.

  • Electronic-Readiness

ICD-11 is designed to be a digital-ready and intuitive tool for a global audience. It includes seamless integration with electronic health applications and the capability to capture more intricate data.

  • Uses a Comprehensive Approach

ICD-11 uses a new way of understanding illnesses, considering their severity, progress, and specific symptoms. This approach helps the system to better track and record changes in health conditions over time.

ICD-11 and ICD-10 Codes in 2023: What Do They Mean for Medical Coding?

The ICD is a global system that medical professionals use for accurate medical documentation, billing, and statistical analysis. Currently, two versions, ICD-10 and ICD-11, coexist, each serving a distinct purpose. As ICD-11 is transitioning, providers must understand how this change will impact coding.

These are some essential points on the impact of ICD-10 and ICD-11 on medical coding this year:


Increased specificity: ICD-10 enhances studying utilization and health system effects through increased specificity. Medical coding service providers can assign highly specific diagnosis codes based on physician documentation that indicates the most detailed clinical diagnosis.

Coding for laterality: One notable feature of ICD-10 codes is the inclusion of laterality. Specific codes are available to indicate whether a condition affects the right side, left side, or both sides of the body. For pain management billing and coding, this distinction is critical.

Extensions for encounter type identification: In the context of injuries, ICD-10 introduces an expanded category with a seventh character extension to identify the type of encounter. The extensions include: “A” for the initial encounter, “D” for subsequent encounters related to fractures with routine healing, “G” for subsequent encounters related to fractures with delayed healing, and “S” for sequela (lingering effects) of a fracture. This extension helps accurately document the specific stage or type of encounter for injury-related cases.


Enhanced Specificity: ICD-11 codes provide greater granularity and specificity than ICD-10 codes. In this way, documentation of patient conditions can be more accurate, leading to happier patients.

Expanded Code Set: The ICD-11 system boasts an expanded code set, accommodating a broader range of conditions, including emerging diseases and conditions not adequately covered by ICD-10. This system ensures comprehensive coding options for healthcare professionals.

Streamlined Workflow: With ICD-11, medical coders can benefit from a more simplified and intuitive coding process. The system’s improved structure and organization facilitate quicker code selection, reducing errors and improving efficiency.

Harmonization and Compatibility: While ICD-11 introduces notable changes, it maintains a level of compatibility with ICD-10. It ensures continuity in medical coding operations and allows for a smoother transition.

Preparation and Training: Healthcare providers should prioritize staff training and education to familiarize themselves with the new coding system. Adequate preparation will enable seamless adaptation to ICD-11 and optimize coding accuracy.

Overall, healthcare providers can prepare for the changing landscape of medical coding by understanding the ICD-11 transition and its coexistence with ICD-10 in 2023.

The ICD-11: Who Needs to Be Ready?

Physicians, nurses, other healthcare providers, health information managers, coding specialists, policymakers, HI technology experts, insurance companies, patient organizations, and researchers all use ICD-11. Its purpose is to gather precise and current health information. As a healthcare provider, ensuring readiness for ICD-11 should be your top priority.

Visit https://www.aapc.com/icd-11/ for more information on ICD-11.

Check out the implementation guide of ICD-11 here:


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