The tip of an iceberg…
The first surge of a tidal wave…
The initial tremors of an earthquake…
Choose your impending disaster scenario and it has likely been used to describe the latest development in ICD-10.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are adding more than 5,000 codes to ICD-10 in fiscal year 2017. We’ve known they were looming, and now they’re (basically) here. New codes are being added now for FY17 because of the freeze CMS imposed for code updates while providers across the U.S. were transitioning to ICD-10. These procedure and diagnosis codes are still pending approval. When the final rule is published in August, all 5,000+ codes will go in effect starting Oct. 1, 2016.
While I have no doubt that your hands are already full with the changes that took effect last October, you are probably more prepared for adding 5,000 more ICD-10 codes than you may think. You’ve already done the necessary work to prepare, plan and comply; you have implemented the right technology and have at least started the necessary processes to break down the coding tsunami into more manageable, solvable challenges.
Here are two reasons why I think adding 5,000+ additional ICD-10 codes will not be a disaster scenario.
Of the new 5,000+ codes, 3,651 are procedure codes with the majority (3,549) being cardiovascular system procedure codes. Many of these codes include details, such as new devices and adding a bifurcation of vessel qualifier. The remainder of the codes to be added for FY17 are ICD-10 CM diagnoses codes. Many of these codes include combination codes, such as in manifestations of diabetes, as well as other new codes offering specificity in the coding of cancers. Given the two-year embargo on adding any new codes (and the penalties assigned to failing to use them) this next wave is the inevitable step to further adopt ICD-10.
To build on Reason #1, the new wave of codes illustrates that CMS appreciates the coding alignment that health systems (and Premier, on their behalf) have been asking for. They will be able to code with fewer questions, provide clearer data points and increase specificity.
How is this change resonating within your organization? Feeling overwhelmed?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and what steps you’re taking to tackle this added shift in healthcare.
Join Premier and providers from 46 U.S. states in supporting EHR interoperability to help with this transition. Learn more and sign the pledge here.
I’m a registered nurse and a manager in Premier’s Quality Documentation Services from North Carolina focusing on clinical documentation improvement, risk adjustment, PQRS and MACRA clinical consulting. When I’m not working and it’s warm, you’ll find me relaxing on the NC Outer Banks surf fishing. Connect with me on LinkedIn and David_Reece@PremierInc.com.