The World Health Organisation publish the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). A new version, ICD-10 was published in 1992.

I work in health care IT. Recently there has been quite a few advertisments and news articles that claim the ICD-9 to ICD-10 migration to be done in October 2013 is a Y2K-like opportunity.

To quote one below

As stated in an article titled, Issues Surrounding the Proposed Implementation of ICD-10, “In effect, this will be the most significant overhaul of the medical coding system since the advent of computers ... even more costly and involved than Y2K or HIPAA preparedness efforts”.

-- source

Is it conversion step really big that it is comparable to Y2K?


Not really.

Total estimate US spending for Y2K $134bn in preparation + $13bn for fixing problems in first few months of 2000. That's $147bn total, which inflation adjusted to 2011 is $200bn.

By contrast, total estimated US healthcare IT spending is $40bn, and only fraction of that can be attributed to IDC-10 migration.

  • 6
    The claim stated "overhaul of the medical coding system". You need to compare y2K estimate for medical systems only. – user5341 Oct 24 '11 at 23:18
  • @DVK: You've probably right about interpretation of the quote, however the question itself can be interpreted as regarding opportunity as big as whole of Y2K. – vartec Oct 25 '11 at 12:50

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