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ICD-10: Nearly 6,000 More Codes for Oct 1, 2016

Written by: Shawn Hewitt on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 Posted in: Acute Care Rehab, Inpatient Rehab, Outpatient Rehab

Even though it has only been one year since the release of ICD-10 codes, CMS will be adding another 5,500 codes to the ICD-10 library for release on Oct 1, 2016. The makeup of the 5,500 new codes will be roughly 3,650 hospital inpatient procedure codes and 1,900 diagnostic codes.

The majority of the 3,650 new hospital inpatient codes will relate to the lower joint body systems and cardiovascular systems. CMS has also said there will be new codes for hand and face transplants and donor organ perfusion.

Where are the new ICD-10 codes coming from?

Some may be asking where all these new codes are coming from. According to CMS, prior to the implementation of ICD-10 coding on Oct 1, 2015, there was a partial freeze on updates. The new codes are the backlog of proposals for change that developed during the freeze, which has now been lifted.

Although ongoing updates are typical maintenance for ICD code sets, the large number of additions is unusual. Reportedly, according to a source quoted by Greg Slabodkin in HealthData Management, these additions mark “… the largest major change in diagnosis codes in five years.” Generally, only about 150 to 200 codes are altered from year to year, so adding nearly 10 times that is significant. In addition, Slabodkin reported that CMS is expected to announce another 500 minor revisions soon.

While these numbers seem huge in comparison to past updates, the changes should be relatively easy to manage. However, Slabodkin notes providers should make sure their systems and clearinghouses are prepared for the new codes.

October 1, 2016 will be the launch date for all of the new and revised codes. It will be important for all of us to pay close attention to the Fiscal 2017 inpatient prospective payment system proposed rule, which is expected in April. According to CMS, the proposed rule will include the changes to the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS.  The Diagnostic Related Groups will also launch on Oct. 1.

Send in your comments about the ICD-10 PCS code proposals

Providers can comment on the proposed codes through April 8. Comments for the ICD-10-PCS code proposals should be sent to ICDprocedurecoderequest@CMS.HHS.gov while comments on the ICD-10-CM code proposals should be sent to nchsicd10CM@cdc.gov.

The final code updates and 2017 addendum are expected to be published by the end of June, ahead of the October 1 implementation date.