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Translating from DSM codes to ICD codes isn’t that big
a deal right now, says Lynn Bufka, PhD, assistant executive
director for practice research and policy in APA’s Practice
Directorate. That’s because while other countries are currently
using the ICD- 10, the United States is still using the ICD- 9. And
the ICD-9-CM — the version clinically modified by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention for use in the United State
— and the DSM IV are very similar.
“Technically, psychologists are already using the ICD when
they’re submitting billing,” says Bufka. “But most psychologists
aren’t aware that they are because the two systems have been
Beginning in October 2013, however, U.S. practitioners will
be required to use the ICD-10-CM, which differs significantly
from the DSM. According to Reed, both codes and the
organization of chapters will be different.
Since the rest of the world will be adopting the ICD- 11
when it is released in 2015, the CDC will likely make annual
updates to gradually bring the ICD-10-CM into line with
the ICD- 11 to avoid another abrupt shift. But the differences
between the DSM and the ICD may grow even greater over
time, says Reed, depending on the outcomes of the ICD and
DSM revision processes.
While APA supports the shift to the ICD-10-CM, there
is some resistance to it. The American Medical Association’s
House of Delegates has voted to work to stop the transition,
citing financial and practical concerns — the same justifications
used to stop the ICD- 10’s adoption two decades ago even as the
rest of the world embraced the updated code set.
Reed doesn’t think learning the new system will be that
difficult. And APA is already making plans to help ensure that
psychologists are prepared for the change.
Reed will present a “Clinician’s Corner” workshop on the
ICD at APA headquarters from 1 to 4 p.m. ET on April 12.
(Visit www.apa.org/ed/ce/index.aspx for more details or to
register.) The presentation will be webcast nationally and
then become available on demand on APA’s website, says
Greg J. Neimeyer, PhD, director of APA’s Office of Continuing
Education in Psychology. “He’s going to basically try to frame
up what the ICD will look like when it hits North America next
year and help psychologists transition to it,” he says, adding that
the target audience is both practitioners and researchers.
Reed will also lead two programs at APA’s 2012 Annual
Convention in Orlando in August. One will be a symposium as
part of Johnson’s presidential programming; another will be a
half-day workshop focused on practical applications of the ICD.
“All these events are complementary and designed to reach the
same audience from multiple perspectives,” says Neimeyer. n
For more information about the ICD revision, visit www.who.int/