Article Abstract

ICD-10-CM/PCS: potential methodologic strengths and challenges for thoracic surgery researchers and reviewers

Authors: James M. Clark, Garth H. Utter, Miriam Nuño, Patrick S. Romano, Lisa M. Brown, David T. Cooke


The recent implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification and Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-CM/PCS) provides a robust classification of diagnoses and procedures for hospital systems. As researchers begin using ICD-10-CM/PCS for outcomes research from administrative datasets, it is important to understand ICD-10-CM/PCS, as well as the strengths and challenges of these new classifications. In this review, we describe the development of ICD-10-CM/PCS and summarize how it applies specifically to thoracic surgery patients undergoing pulmonary lobectomy, sublobar resection (segmentectomy or wedge resection) and esophagectomy. This myriad of ICD-10-CM/PCS codes presents challenges and questions for thoracic surgery researchers and medical journal reviewers and editors when evaluating thoracic surgical outcomes research utilizing ICD-10-CM/PCS. Additional work is needed to develop consensus guidelines and uniformity for accurate and coherent research methods to utilize ICD-10-CM/PCS in future outcomes research efforts.