Researchers Publish Commentary, “Evolution of the International Classification of Diseases,” in JAMA Network Open

May 07, 2024

Christopher Tompkins, MMHS’82, PhD’91, and Michael Pine ’62 co-authored the article, “Evolution of the International Classification of Diseases—From Hierarchical Classification to Linguistic Nuance,” published in JAMA Network Open. In the piece, Tompkins and Pine provide commentary on the U.S. healthcare system transitioning from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), adopted in 2015, to the ICD-11, which came into effect in 2022. 

According to Tompkins and Pine, the healthcare community has doubts about the saliency of this transition to another ICD after the ICD-10-CM did not produce the expected clinical benefits. While private organizations are concerned about the inevitable cost and threat to profits, government agencies fear political backlash and worry about justifying the burden of a mandate.

Christopher Tompkins, Associate Professor
Christopher Tompkins, MMHS’82, PhD’91, Associate Research Professor

“The U.S. healthcare system is very resistant to change. Writ large, we have been unable to put the system on a sustainable path where it delivers high quality and high value. Opportunities for ‘trying again’ are rare,” said Tompkins, Associate Research Professor at Heller. “The next step is researching how to go about upgrading the system and making the case that this transition will be beneficial to both private organizations and government agencies.”

The co-authors point to the possibility of overhauling the information that flows through the system, and potentially improving everything from coordinated clinical care to clinical research; health services research conducted at Heller; quality, efficiency, and value metrics; and targeted support for the most vulnerable in society.

Recently, Tompkins, Pine, and fellow colleagues have been in conversation with government agencies and committees to help shape the issue and prepare a research program, in addition to developing tools, such as logical systems and software, that could be used to maximize the benefits of upgrading the information system.

Read the full article in JAMA Network Open.