by Comprehensive Staff

10/23/2015 6:04 pm

Successful Transition to ICD-10/ DSM-5

ICD-10October 1, 2015 was the deadline for all healthcare providers across the United States to switch to the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) – also known as ICD-10 – for billing purposes.  The ICD-10 codes are used to describe the condition the healthcare provider is treating. 

In the behavioral health field in Washington State, the ICD-10 change coincided with transition from utilizing the 4th edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), to the newest 5th edition (DSM-5).  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders contains the assessment criteria for various behavioral health disorders.  The DSM-5 guides the classification, assessment and treatment of these illnesses.

The concurrent change to both ICD-10 codes and the new DSM-5 diagnostic criteria was anticipated to be a significant transition for all behavioral health organizations.  Comprehensive devoted a substantial amount of time, energy and resources during the past year to help make this transition as smooth as possible.  One internal workgroup focused on testing the most current version of our electronic health record software to ensure that it would be ready to accommodate the changes.  Another group focused on developing and implementing trainings for our clinical staff in the use of the updated DSM-5 diagnostic criteria.  An interdisciplinary ICD-10/DSM-5 Implementation Team coordinated all of these activities and problem-solved new issues and challenges as they arose.

The results are that Comprehensive made it through this transition with few problems and no disruptions of client care. 

There are a few issues we still need to resolve.  For example, our current mental health assessment and psychological evaluation reports look a little unusual because we are in transition from our old DSM-IV formatted custom reports to ones that are consistent with DSM-5 requirements.  As a result, the old DSM-IV diagnosis sections in these custom built reports appears blank, and the new DSM-5 compliant Diagnosis Form (that contains the actual diagnosis) is being appended to the end of the reports.  This is not ideal, but we plan to develop new integrated versions of these documents now that we have successfully navigated the ICD-10/DSM-5 transition.  We expect to have improved reporting documents in place in the coming months.

Overall we can be very proud of the work our staff did to make this transition a success and have the experience appear very seamless from the perspective of our clients.