ICD-10-CM (We’re not out-of-the-woods just yet)

Will we be ready for 10/1/2016?

Many people got nervous about transitioning from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. The industry had a ton of time to prepare and there were plenty of delays and lots of media coverage. But will we be ready for next October (10/1/16)?

The ICD-10-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee met this week. Until this past October there was a partial coding freeze on changes to the ICD-10-CM. What does that mean? It means that for a few years some proposed changes stacked up without being implemented. Among those proposals were coding changes suggested by the American Psychiatric Association. So, psychologists and other mental health professionals, we’re not out of the woods yet with paying attention to the ICD-10-CM.

This Spring (probably April) we’ll know a little more with a NPRM (notice of proposed rule making) and perhaps by June there will be more addendum information available related to the ICD-10-CM codes for FY 2017. However, you really don’t need to pay attention until August.

In August we’ll have official information related to the first full update of the ICD-10-CM. Right now we can estimate that there will be at least 1900 new codes on the diagnostic side including 313 deletions and 351 revised codes. This of course is not just for the codes relevant to psychologists. There has been a backlog of proposed changes and the flood-gates are now open for this October 1, 2016.

So don’t relax just yet. Here is to hoping that insurance companies don’t mess up the new codes, but more importantly psychologists don’t start making errors because suddenly things like binge eating disorder and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder are coded differently.

I’ll cover the ICD-10-CM coding changes for 10/1/2016 for psychologists in much more detail on this blog in August so stay tuned for that. If you only want to subscribe to my future ICD coding updates (which will basically be around twice per year related to October and April) you can do so at the Psych ICD Codes site. 


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Todd Finnerty, Psy.D.