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Getting Ready for new ICD-10 Codes for Chiropractic

By:  ChiroCode
Published:  August 24th, 2016

ICD-10-CM changes for 2017 include 1,974 new codes, 311 deleted codes, and 425 revised codes. Chiropractors, fortunately, are only affected by about 70 of these changes. And none of them are ground breaking. However, if you report deleted codes, your claims could be denied. If you are unaware of a new code that is more descriptive you might miss out on an opportunity to better establish medical necessity for your care.

A sampling of these changes follow. For a complete guide to ICD-10 coding for chiropractic, order your 2017 book from the ChiroCode store. 

There are a few new codes for bilateral nerve conditions, such as: G56.03 Carpal tunnel syndrome, bilateral upper limbs There are new codes for bunions and bunionettes as follows: 

M21.611  Bunion of right foot
M21.612 Bunion of left foot
M21.619 Bunion of unspecified foot
M21.621 Bunionette of right foot
M21.622 Bunionette of left foot
M21.629 Bunionette of unspecified foot

There are several codes for conditions of the temporomandibular joint in the 2016 version of ICD-10-CM, but they end with five characters. A sixth character was added to designate right, left, and bilateral options. See the  subcategory for specifics, but here is one example: 

M26.623 Arthralgia of bilateral temporomandibular joint

In the M50 category, the 2016 code set listed the mid cervical region for many of the disc disorder codes. However, codes have now been added that list the specific level, which helps to remove any ambiguity. For example: 

M50.121

M50.122

M50.123

Cervical disc disorder at C4-C5 level with radiculopathy

Cervical disc disorder at C5-C6 level with radiculopathy

Cervical disc disorder at C6-C7 level with radiculopathy

In addition, many external cause codes regarding collisions with fixed or stationary objects have been deleted and replaced with codes that specify the type of vehicle. There are also new codes to describe paper cuts, overexertion, and even engaging in a choking game. External cause codes are still voluntary in most circumstances. However, government programs that are voluntary are likely to become mandatory in the future, so it may be wise to get familiar with, and begin to use, external cause codes. 

ChiroCode’s 2017 ICD-10 book includes all the new codes, plus updated Provider Documentation Guides, clinical examples, and coding tips for the top conditions treated by chiropractors. Check out our new Condition Coding Cards in the ChiroCode store too.

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