Updated Diagnosis Codes Suggest Opioid-Related Hospitalization Rates Higher Than Previously Estimated
A new AHRQ analysis based on updated International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes suggests that opioid-related hospitalization rates during 2015-16 were substantially higher than previously estimated. The U.S. health system transitioned from ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1, 2015, a shift that increased the overall number of possible diagnosis codes from about 14,000 to 68,000. That transition included 14 new codes for “opioid use, unspecified” that captured an additional 7,500 opioid-related hospitalizations, according to the AHRQ study, published in the journal Medical Care. Authors of the study concluded that the new ICD-10 coding system may lead to better estimates of the burden of opioid problems in the hospital sector, as well as better tracking of the potential impact of federal, state and local policies aimed at addressing the epidemic. Access the abstract.
Med Care. 2017 Sep 19. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000805. [Epub ahead of print]
Trends in Opioid-related Inpatient Stays Shifted After the US Transitioned to ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding in 2015.