The ICD-10-CM expands the overall number of codes
from about 14,000 to more than 68,000, says Goodheart. Of
course, she adds, the ICD covers both mental and physical
disorders, so most of those codes don’t apply to psychologists.
Most psychologists need only concern themselves with the
chapter on mental and behavioral disorders, she says.
“ I tell people not to be too daunted,” says Goodheart,
who offers workshops on the ICD to state, provincial and
territorial psychological associations (SPTPAs).
The shift to the ICD-10-CM will help practitioners,
says Goodheart. For one thing, she says, “the ICD-9-CM is
obsolete.” And while the basic categories psychologists tend to
use will stay the same, she says, the number of codes available
will expand. Those who specialize in substance use treatment,
for example, will find a greatly expanded code set.
But clinicians aren’t the ones who will benefit most from
the transition, says Goodheart.
“The biggest change isn’t necessarily going to be noticed
she predicts. The new version will reflect the way clinicians
by practitioners: The ICD-10-CM is a better fit for health
information technology systems,” she says. “Most of the benefit
really is for public health monitoring, claims processing,
payment systems development — that kind of thing.”
Psychologists won’t see big changes that benefit their
patients and themselves until the roll-out of the ICD-11-CM,
she says. That version will be much more clinically useful,
around the world categorize mental and behavioral disorders
and feature a more clinically intuitive architecture that will be
easier to use, she says.
Training current and future practitioners
To prepare for these coming changes, professional
psychologists should begin by familiarizing themselves with
the ICD-10-CM codes, says Goodheart. The ICD-10-CM
is available for free from the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/
APA is working hard to ensure that current practitioners
are ready, says Cynthia D. Belar, PhD, executive director of
APA’s Education Directorate.
“Through our Office of Continuing Education, we have
What’s also needed is advocacy, says Elena J. Eisman,
developed partnerships with a lot of SPTAs, sending people
to do workshops,” says Belar. “Efforts are underway, and there
will be more.”
Preparing the next generation of practitioners is also
key, says Belar. To help with that process, APA plans to make
parts of Goodheart’s Clinician’s Corner webinar available to
psychology doctoral and internship programs.
EdD, who left her position as executive director and director
of professional affairs at the Massachusetts Psychological