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Government to add nearly 6,000 updates to ICD-10

March 29, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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Just when you thought the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10) couldn’t get more detailed, complicated or confusing, think again.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the end of a partial freeze to updating the diagnosis codes. The government will add nearly 1,900 new diagnosis codes and 3,651 hospital inpatient procedure codes to the ICD-10 system in fiscal year 2017. Nearly 500 code titles will also be revised.

The majority of those new codes are related to the cardiovascular system in response to several proposals to distinguish devices and procedures into and out of the heart and arteries. New codes also are related to lower joint body systems, intracranial admission of 10 substances using an open approach, face and hand transplants and donor organ perfusion.

The new procedure codes are available on the CMS website. The new diagnosis codes will be released in April as part of the proposed fiscal year 2017 hospital inpatient prospective payment system.

The additions and revisions will take effect Oct. 1, 2016, the one year after the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10.  The transition added about 68,000 new codes to the previous 13,000 billing codes in an effort to make diagnosis and reimbursement more specific and accurate.

The World Health Organization (WHO) owns and publishes ICD-10. The organization authorized the classification system to be adapted in the United States to classify morbidity in all healthcare settings and mortality on death certificates.