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More ICD-10 Codes to be Added Next Month

March 14, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will add about 1,900 diagnosis codes and 3,651 hospital inpatient procedure codes to the ICD-10 coding system for healthcare claims in fiscal year 2017, the agencies announced.

According to a statement from the American Hospital Association (AHA), the large number of new codes is due to a partial freeze on updates to the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10 PCS codes prior to implementation of ICD-10 on Oct. 1, 2015. Both new and revised PCS codes are available at www.cms.gov. The new diagnosis codes will be included in the hospital inpatient prospective payment system proposed rule for FY 2017, expected next month.

With the transition to ICD-10, healthcare professionals were already having to learn many new codes compared to the previous coding set, ICD-9. Nonetheless, in a Feb. 24 blog post, Andy Slavitt, CMS Acting Administrator, reflected on the lessons learned from the healthcare industry’s conversion to the ICD-10 coding set last fall. Slavitt himself noted that it was being compared to Y2K, a transition with the potential to create chaos in the healthcare system.

However, Slavitt pointed to the transition as an overall success. He wrote, “The ICD-10 implementation had all the hallmarks of how CMS could drive a successful implementation and aim for excellence.” The approach that CMS took which the agency says as “become its doctrine for getting things done,” had four major elements, per Slavitt: be customer focused, be highly collaborative, be responsible and accountable, and be driven by metrics.

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