Ebola highlights ICD-9 problems

How fortunate are we here in the United States that the Ebola virus has not taken hold? Whether it be due to the response of our healthcare system or blind luck, likely some of both, we have avoided what could have been the next AIDS-level catastrophe.

NEMT CEO Linda Sullivan

West Africa continues to struggle but according to the World Health Organization, there appears to be a downward trend of reported new cases.

Where the United States did fall short, however, is in our continued use of ICD-9. While politicians and others have made fun of the specific nature of ICD-10, that very specificity is what would enable the vitally necessary tracking of this or any other new disease or condition.

As the only industrialized country in the world still using ICD-9, we see that the Ebola virus has pointed up how important it is that the deadline of October 1, 2015 for U.S. implementation of ICD-10 be adhered to.

The days of ICD-10 being used as a political football need to come to an end.

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