Find-A-Code Focus Newsletter

ICD-10-CM updates announced! Well, sort of.

March 16, 2016

Who is in charge of these updates?

March 9-10, 2016 the ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee met to discuss changes to ICD-10-CM, which begin October 1, 2016 at the earliest.  A representative from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS - part of the CDC) and one from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) co-chair the meetings. NCHS is responsible for classification of diagnoses while CMS is responsible for ICD-10-PCS (which is only used in an inpatient/facility setting at this time).
The ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee’s role is advisory. All final decisions are made by the Director of NCHS and the Administrator of CMS. Final decisions are made at the end of the year and become effective April 1 or October 1 of the following year.

 Where can I find the official changes?

Official code revision packages, which are referred to as addenda, are available from the CDC.  The agenda for the March 2016 meeting included 1928 proposed new codes for ICD-10-CM, but the official addendum is not released until June 2016.  Deadline for public comments on proposed new codes from the March meeting is April 8, 2016.  

A few of the new codes (such as codes for the Zika virus) may be fast tracked for addition on October 1, 2016, but most would go into effect in 2017. 

How can I suggest code changes?

The ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee meets twice a year. At these meetings, the public is asked to comment on whether or not requests for new diagnosis or procedure codes should be created based on the criteria of the need to capture a new technology or disease. Although it is a Federal Committee, suggestions for modifications come from both the public and private sectors. Interested parties must submit proposals for modification prior to a scheduled meeting via  

Proposals for a new code should include:

  • Description of the code(s)/change(s) being requested
  • Rationale for why the new code/change is needed (including clinical relevancy)
  • Supporting clinical references and literature should also be submitted.

Proposals should be consistent with the structure and conventions of the classification.

The next meeting is Sept. 13-14, 2016, with proposals due July 15, 2016.  If accepted, these proposals would not go into effect until 2017, at the earliest.

What I really want to know is, will I need to buy a new ICD-10 code book?

It depends on your specialty.  There are some significant changes proposed for myocardial infarction, lump in the breast, type 2 diabetes , among others.  Find-A-Code subscribers can rest easy because codes are always current since they are updated as soon as changes are made official.  InstaCode's specialty specific 2017 ICD-10 books will be available for pre-order very soon.  They will be shipped once the code updates are made official and they contain many great new features such as a customized Tabular List, specialty specific Provider Documentation Guides, and lots of specific tips and tricks just for your specialty.  Even though the codes may not have changed much, the tools and advice available gets better every year.

Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.


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