Administrative Waste

VII. Key Issues: Regulation & Reform >> C. Health Reform >> Cost Containment >> Administrative Waste



See Reduce Administrative Waste under Cost Containment for evidence on the benefits and costs of various approaches to reducing administrative waste incurred by health insurers, health providers, and payers for which there is real-world evidence of net cost savings. This section is restricted to discussion of federal and state health reform policy proposals related to reducing administrative waste that are  under discussion and not yet adopted or implemented. This includes ideas that may have been adopted in other countries or other settings (e.g., large health plans, VA health system), but that have been proposed to be significantly expanded to other U.S. populations under comprehensive health reform.

Medical Coding


  • The U.S. has 186,000 medical coders who work in the back offices of hospitals.
  • Current Policy Regarding Coding
    • ICD-9The U.S. adopted ICD-9 in 1979, two years after it was published by World Health Organization (WHO).
    • ICD-10. The U.S. will switch to ICD-10 on October 1, 2014. Most other industrialized nations transitioned to ICD-10, which the  published in 1992, more than a decade ago. Canada adopted ICD-10 in 2001.
    • ICD-11. WHO began work on ICD-11 in 2007. Christopher Chute, a professor at the Mayo Clinic and expert on medical classification, expects that to come into use in the United States sometime around 2022.

Change to ICD-10


  • American Health Information Management Association

General Resources

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