The switch to the ICD-10 medical coding system in 2015 marked a significant transition in U.S. healthcare. Beforehand, the U.S. had been using an older International Classification of Diseases model called ICD-9 since 1979.
One major expansion area and difference between the two code sets related to specific niche diagnosis categories like animal-inflicted injuries.
What are the differences between the ICD-10 and ICD-90 code sets?
The ICD-10 code set contains 68,100 more procedure codes and 55,798 more diagnosis codes than the ICD-9 code set. With so many new codes, ICD-10 significantly improved the level of specificity in medical coding. This specificity helps describe the cause, severity, and bodily location of a specific illness or injury.
By comparing related diagnosis and procedure codes, users can track medical coding and billing changes over time.
How are ICD-10 codes for animal-inflicted injuries different from ICD-9 codes?
The ICD-10 code set contains over 300 diagnoses related to animal-inflicted injuries. These ICD-10 diagnoses offer precise detail about the type of animal encounter. In the ICD-10 code set, these animal encounters can range from “pecked by turkey” (ICD-10 code W6143XA), to “struck by cow” (ICD-10 code W5522XA), or “crushed by crocodile” (ICD-10 code W5813XA).
The ICD-9 system contained only 20 diagnosis codes for any injury resulting from an animal encounter. In the ICD-9 code set, these diagnosis codes were categorized as either “venomous animals and plants as the cause of poisoning and toxic reactions” (ICD-9 code E905) or “other injury caused by animals” (ICD-9 code E906). The diagnosis codes themselves were broad and contained none of the same detail that the ICD-10 codes do.
How do ICD-10 codes improve documentation for animal-related injuries?
Because ICD-10 codes are so specific about illness and injury origin, clinical documentation is much more detailed than the ICD-9 system.
For instance, an accidental injury like “toxic effect of bee venom, accidental” (ICD-10 code T63441A) has a different diagnosis code than a purposeful injury like “toxic effect of bee venom, intentional self-harm” (ICD-10 code T63442A).
With more robust documentation, healthcare providers better understand their patients’ medical histories. This can improve a physician’s ability to make informed treatment decisions.
Top 10 most common injuries related to non-venomous animals
||Total # of Diagnoses
||Bitten or stung by nonvenomous insect and other nonvenomous arthropods, initial encounter
||Bitten by dog, initial encounter
||Bitten by cat, initial encounter
||Bitten by dog, subsequent encounter
||Scratched by cat, initial encounter
||Bitten or stung by nonvenomous insect and other nonvenomous arthropods, subsequent encounter
||Animal-rider injured by fall from or being thrown from horse in noncollision accident, initial encounter
||Other contact with dog, initial encounter
||Bitten by cat, subsequent encounter
||Bitten or stung by nonvenomous insect and other nonvenomous arthropods, sequela
Fig 1. Data is from Definitive Healthcare’s ClaimsMx. Represents the most common physicians’ diagnoses for animal-related injuries. Total number of diagnoses reflects claims from January – November 2021. Commercial claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States and updated monthly. Accessed January 2022.
The most common injury related to non-venomous animals is “bitten or stung by non-venomous insect and other non-venomous arthropods, initial encounter” (ICD-10 code W57XXXA). Tick bites or mosquito bites – both fairly common bug bites – would fall under this diagnosis. In 2021, physicians in the U.S. submitted over 475,000 claims for non-venomous insect bites.
The ten animal-inflicted injuries above accounted for more than 850,000 total diagnoses in 2021. Six of the ten diagnoses are described as “initial encounter,” meaning that most injuries were not severe enough that patients had to return for subsequent care or treatment.
Even for a diagnosis where both an initial and subsequent encounter appear in the top ten, there is a significant drop in volume, indicating that most injuries were not severe enough to require additional care.
Top 10 most common injuries related to venomous animals
||Total # of Diagnoses
||Toxic effect of venom of bees, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
||Toxic effect of venom of wasps, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
||Toxic effect of venom of hornets, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
||Toxic effect of venom of bees, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
||Toxic effect of venom of ants, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
||Toxic effect of venom of wasps, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
||Toxic effect of venom of other arthropod, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
||Toxic effect of unspecified spider venom, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
||Toxic effect of venom of hornets, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
||Toxic effect of venom of ants, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
Fig 2. Data is from Definitive Healthcare’s ClaimsMx. Represents the most common physicians’ diagnoses for venomous or poisonous animals. Total number of diagnoses reflects claims from January – November 2021. Commercial claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States and updated monthly. Accessed January 2022.
Bee, wasp and hornet stings cause the majority of venomous animal encounters. “Toxic effect of venom of bees, accidental, initial encounter” (ICD-10 code T63441A) is the most common injury related to venomous animals.
Subsequent encounters for injuries related to wasps, hornets and ants have a higher volume of diagnoses than initial encounters with these insects, indicating that patients may require multiple visits or treatments. As these animals are venomous, reactions to bites from them are likely to be more severe than non-venomous animals.
There is a notable difference between the ICD-10 codes and their corresponding ICD-9 codes. There are ten unique ICD-10 diagnosis codes. Meanwhile, there are only two corresponding ICD-9 codes: 9895 and V5889.
ICD-9 code 9895 broadly describes the toxic effect of venom, and code V5889 is used for all subsequent encounters to describe “other specified aftercare.” In comparison, the ICD-10 codes differentiate between the type of insect, the nature of the encounter, and how many times a patient sought care for that injury.
The specificity of these codes can be helpful for healthcare organizations targeting a particular patient population.
Will there be an ICD-11?
The World Health Organization (WHO) released its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) in June 2018, and it officially went into effect in January 2022.
However, ICD-11 is not ready for implementation in the United States yet. According to a 2018 report from the CDC, the earliest the U.S. would implement ICD-11 would be 2023; however, it might take longer.
What is the difference between ICD-11 and ICD-10?
Each new ICD update allows for more precise data collection and analysis.
Much like the ICD-10 codes provide more specificity than the ICD-19 codes, ICD-11 codes offer further improvements to the number of diagnostic terms and their specificity. Updates to the code set reflect critical advances in science and medication, aligning classification with the latest disease treatment and prevention knowledge.
Since WHO first released ICD-10 in 1989, healthcare has undergone a drastic digital revolution. ICD-11 is designed to be digital health ready, allowing it to be used in multiple IT environments with new APIs.
Definitive Healthcare’s ClaimsMx allows users to search for ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes, as well as by DRG, CPT or HCPCS codes.
Interested in learning more about our ClaimsMx data? Book a free trial today to see how we can help you gain visibility into diagnosis and procedure activity, insight into patient journeys, provider treatment patterns and advance payment analytics.