Western Australian Clinical Coding Authority (WACCA)

The Western Australian Clinical Coding Authority provides oversight, governance and consultancy to ensure production of high quality clinical coding data and information for the WA Health System.

What we do

Provide oversight, governance and consultancy for the production of WA's clinical coding data

  • Provide classification advice to clinical coders and other stakeholders via the WA Coding Query Process. Queries are answered after interrogation of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS and national and jurisdictional Rules; with input from our Clinical Adviser and/or external clinical input. Some queries require referral to the WA Clinical Coding Technical Advisory Group (TAG);
  • Provide administration for the WA Clinical Coding Technical Advisory Group (TAG);
  • Produce and maintain WA Coding Rules; 
  • Escalate queries to the Australian Consortium for Classification Development (ACCD) for national decision-making to support national coding consistency;
  • Produce Clinical Coding Guidelines for WA clinical coders. 

Provide consultancy for the use of WA's clinical coding data

  • Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders including managers, data analysts, epidemiologists and researchers to provide consultancy during extraction, analysis and reporting of WA's clinical coding data. This includes assistance with interpretation of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS; selection of codes; mapping to ICD-8, ICD-9 and previous Editions of ICD-10-AM; and providing feedback on draft research study manuscripts;
  • Project work - WACCA is currently collaborating with the WA Register of Developmental Anomalies (WARDA) in a world-first code mapping project.

Consult on ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS development 

  • Represent WA on the national ICD Technical Group (ITG) which is responsible for ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS development. WACCA provides extensive input into ITG classification change proposals; including seeking input from TAG members and other WA stakeholders;
  • Submit public submissions to the ACCD with suggestions for improvement to ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS;
  • Oversight of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS Edition changes, including consultation with WA's coding educators and managers for identification of issues to be submitted via the ACCD's Frequently Asked Questions process;
  • Produce ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS Summary of Major Changes for each Edition change.
What is clinical coding?

Clinical coding is translation of clinical documentation about patient care into code format. For example, acute appendicitis is represented by the code 'K35.8'.

A standardised classification system, The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM), is applied in all Australian acute health facilities. It is based on the World Health Organisation ICD-10 system, updated with the Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI), Australian Coding Standards (ACS) and ICD-O-3 (International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, 3rd edition).

A clinical coder is responsible for abstracting information from clinical documentation and deciding which diagnoses and procedures meet criteria for coding in accordance with classification conventions, standards and rules. The clinical coder then assigns codes for these diagnoses and procedures. 

What is clinical coding information used for?

  • Activity Based Funding (ABF) and reimbursement 
    Each inpatient episode's codes and patient data items are processed by grouper software to determine an Australian Refined - Diagnosis Related Group (AR-DRG) for the inpatient episode of care, which informs funding and reimbursement. The AR-DRG classification enables hospital episodes to be grouped into meaningful categories, helping us to better match patient needs to health care resources. 
  • Economic modelling and activity modelling
  • Health care planning
  • Resource allocation and cost analysis
  • Patient safety and quality
  • Clinical benchmarking and audits
  • Research
  • Epidemiological studies
  • Education

Latest news

January 2020

ICD-10-AM emergency use code for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease) - U07.1
The World Health Organization has advised international health data collections to assign U07.1 Emergency use of U07.1  as an additional code for documentation of acute respiratory disease due to 2019-nCoV. For example, where documentation states pneumonia due to 2019-nCoV, assign:

J12.8 Other viral pneumonia
B97.2 Coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified to other chapters 
U07.1 Emergency use of U07.1

Guides to Major Eleventh Edition Changes 
The following Guides have been revised and updated since original publication:

WACCA Clinical Coding Guidelines
The following Guidelines have been revised and updated in line with Eleventh Edition:

November 2019

ICD-10-AM emergency use code for vaping-related disorders - U07.0

The World Health Organization has advised international health data collections to assign U07.0 Emergency use of U07.0 as an additional code for conditions related to vaping, i.e. respiratory disease due to vaping, is to be assigned:

J68.9 Unspecified respiratory condition due to chemicals, gases, fumes and vapours
U07.0 Emergency use of U07.0

A national Coding Rule is to be published on 16 December 2019 for the classification of vaping-related disorders.

October 2019

11th Edition
The WA Coding Rules have now been revised and updated in line with Eleventh Edition.

Guides to Major Eleventh Edition Changes were published in early August 2019. These may be revised in the future to incorporate changes following IHPA review of Eleventh Edition issues, particularly focusing on ACS 0002 Additional diagnoses due to issues raised by multiple jurisdictions. The coding community will be advised if the Guides are revised.

Clinical Coding Practice Framework
The Clinical Coding Practice Framework aims to support national consistency in clinical coding practice, by providing guidance in defining and promoting good practices for those involved in the clinical coding process. It was developed by the Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) in conjunction with the Clinical Coders’ Society of Australia (CCSA), and incorporated feedback from public consultation. It can be accessed from either the HIMAA, CCSA or IHPA website.

The Clinical Coding Practice Framework will be incorporated into the WA Clinical Coding Policy in the near future.

February 2019

10th Edition Summary

The WACCA document: ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS Summary of Major Tenth Edition Changes has been modified to correspond with ACCD advice post Tenth Edition implementation. The modified sections are in blue text to show the revised content. The document is listed in the Clinical Coding Guidelines section of our website.

New staff

We have recently welcomed new staff members Cerys Collins and Claire Romaro to the WA Clinical Coding Authority team. 

October 2018

Changes to WACCA website

Audit Discussion Cases and WACCA Newsletters have been removed from this website due to stakeholder feedback that outdated advice was being applied by clinical coders.

Newsletters, Audit Discussion Cases and 3M Codefinder Notes are based on classification rules current at the time of publication. The content is not mandated classification instruction and is not routinely updated in line with practice changes, therefore content may be outdated.

Any saved copies of Audit Discussion Cases and WACCA Newsletters retained by individuals should be used only as a source of historical information. 

Newsletters are replaced by this Latest News section on the website.

WACCA Clinical Coding Guidelines

The following documents are being revised and will soon be published in the Education and resources section of our website:

  • Malignant neoplasms;
  • Anaesthesia;
  • Interpretation of ACS 0020 Bilateral/multiple procedures

A new document soon to be published:

  • Chemotherapy

These documents are of an educational nature and undergo consultation with WA Clinical Coding Advisory Group members prior to publication. They are revised and updated with each Edition change.

Eleventh Edition

The ITG consultation period for ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS 11th Edition addenda proposals, and the ACCD’s public consultation process, have now ended.

Key dates for 11th Edition implementation:

  • January 2019: final 11th Edition ITG proposals released. WACCA will circulate to WACCAG members.
  • March 2019: 11th Edition classification available for purchase.
  • May/June 2019: release of ACCD 11th Edition education material

Western Australian Register of Developmental Anomalies (WARDA) 

WACCA is collaborating with WARDA to improve the data integrity of the WARDA database by translating ICD-9 (including BPA) codes into ICD-10-AM and Orpha numbers. The project will set the WARDA database into the global forefront of being the first known register of developmental anomalies to be mapped retrospectively and into the future with ICD codes.

Coding queries
The WA Clinical Coding Authority provides coding consultancy via the WA Coding Query Process.

Queries should be emailed to coding.query@health.wa.gov.au in accordance with the above process.

Western Australian Clinical Coding Technical Advisory Group

The WA Clinical Coding Technical Advisory Group consists of technically-focused clinical coding professionals who share their knowledge, processes and ideas relative to the production of clinical coding data. The primary function of the group is the resolution of coding queries by providing advice to the WA Clinical Coding Authority on existing and proposed ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS classification instructions.

Terms of Reference - Clinical Coding Technical Advisory Group (PDF 144KB)

WA Coding Rules

Queries are referred to the WA Clinical Coding Technical Advisory Group for creation of a WA Coding Rule or Clinical Coding Guidelines. The WA Coding Rules are mandated in the Clinical Coding Policy MP0056/17 and are accessible via the A-Z Index and Chronological Index. Coders are notified by email when new WA Coding Rules are published.


General enquiries 

Principal Coding Consultant
Phone:  (08) 9222 4153
Email:  clinical.coding@health.wa.gov.au
PO Box 8172
Perth Business Centre
Perth WA 6849

Team members

Principal Coding Consultant

Brooke Holroyd
Phone:  (08) 9222 4153
Email:  brooke.holroyd@health.wa.gov.au

Senior Coding Consultants

Cerys Collins (Tuesday, Thursday)
Phone:  (08) 9222 2410
Email:  cerys.collins@health.wa.gov.au

Dr Rosi Katich
Phone:  (08) 9222 2007
Email:  ruza.katich@health.wa.gov.au

Claire Romaro
Phone:  (08) 9222 2232
Email:  claire.romaro@health.wa.gov.au

Vana Savietto (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)
Phone:  (08) 9222 4123
Email:  vedrana.savietto@health.wa.gov.au

Coding queries

The WA Clinical Coding Authority provides coding consultancy via the WA Coding Query Process.

Queries should be emailed to coding.query@health.wa.gov.au in accordance with the above process.

Email notifications

The WA clinical coding community receive notifications about publication of news, WA Coding Rules and Clinical Coding Guidelines via our email distribution list.
To be added to the distribution list, please contact clinical.coding@health.wa.gov.au

Clinical coder recruitment

The Western Australian Clinical Coding Authority is not involved in recruitment as this is conducted by individual hospitals.
For job vacancies please see: www.jobs.health.wa.gov.au (external site).

Last reviewed: 10-10-2019
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Information Data & Standards