Development and Assessment of a Crosswalk Between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM to Identify Patients with Common Pain Conditions

J Pain. 2019 Dec;20(12):1429-1445. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2019.05.006. Epub 2019 May 23.


Effective management of patients with pain requires accurate information about the prevalence, outcomes, and co-occurrence of common pain conditions. However, the transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM diagnostic coding in 2015 left researchers without methods for comparing the prevalence of pain conditions before and after the transition. In this study, we developed and assessed a diagnostic framework to serve as a crosswalk between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes for common pain-related health conditions. We refined existing ICD-9-CM definitions for diagnostic clusters of common pain conditions consistent with the US National Pain Strategy and developed corresponding ICD-10-CM definitions. We then assessed the stability of prevalence estimates and associated patient socio-demographic features of each diagnostic cluster during 1-year periods before and after the transition to ICD-10-CM in 3 US health care systems using electronic health records data for in-person encounters. Prevalence estimates and socio-demographic characteristics were similar before and after the transition. The Pain Condition ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM Crosswalk includes a full spectrum of common pain conditions to enable prevalence estimates of multiple and chronic overlapping pain conditions. This allows the tool to serve as a foundation for a broad array of pain-related health services research utilizing electronic databases. PERSPECTIVE: This article details the development and assessment of the Pain Condition ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM Crosswalk, a diagnostic framework for assessing pain condition prevalence across the ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM transition. This framework can serve as a standardized tool for research on pain conditions, including health services and epidemiologic research.

Keywords: Pain; electronic databases; epidemiology; health services research; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases*
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence