ICD-11…Wait What?
It seems like yesterday that the release of ICD-10 shook the medical industry. When the October 1st, 2015 implementation goal came and went, everyone in the healthcare industry had a sigh of relief. Nevertheless, shortly after came the absorption of 68,000 new codes for ICD-10. While many are still adjusting to the growing pains and challenges of ICD-10, it won’t be long until everyone must begin the transition over to ICD-11.
“Wait what?” …No, we are not joking. The new International Classification of Disease (ICD) guidelines is set to be released from progress in 2018.


According to World Health Organization (WHO), ICD coding is used across the world for health diagnoses to guarantee that every country is in sync with the most up-to-date research, medical knowledge, and to track illness to focus resources according to need. The United States currently has an adapted version, commonly known as the ICD-10-CM (for “clinical modification”), which is used for diagnosis coding by health care providers in the U.S. Although ICD-10 was established in 1990, it was not officially integrated into the U.S. until 2015.

What we know…so far
Developed in 2007, ICD-11 builds upon ICD-10, but the exact date of release is unknown. However, a beta-draft of ICD-11 is currently accessible for public use. Once ICD-11 is released from development, it will enter a dynamic quality assurance process. From there, it will be tested in a healthcare setting. Once these steps are complete, it will be rolled out industry-wide. According to WHO’s project plan, this is expected to be accomplished by May 2018. The healthcare testing stage of the ICD-11 rollout is tremendously significant as the feedback will support in the executing changes to the ICD-11 development.


  • Presence of key descriptions and definitions of each entity/category
  • A Foundation Component, also known as a semantic network of words and terms, that will be complex enough to classify the following and more:
    • Mortality
    • Morbidity
    • Primary care
    • Clinical care
    • Research
    • Public health
  • Categories will be defined by rational operation rules
  • ICD-11 will connect with terminologies such as SNOMED-CT
  • International polyglot reference standard for logical comparison

Embracing the Future
Given the history of these transitions, it’s important to note that once the new ICD-11 version is published, the U.S. will still need to generate its own adapted version for release. The good news for healthcare providers is that ICD-11 builds upon ICD-10. It is safe to anticipate that this will rollout will take time, but it is imperative to stay informed on release dates and future updates for ICD-11.

For more anticipated changes, connect with us and check out the ICD-11 beta draft here: ICD-11 BETA DRAFT

Resources & Credits:

  • “ICD-11 Revision.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, www.who.int/classifications/icd/revision/en/.
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