About ICD-10 Coding

On January 15, 2009, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services released a final rule calling for the adoption of a new edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) standards known as the 10th edition using Clinical Modifications (CM) and the Procedure Coding System (PCS). The final rule adopts ICD-10-CM for reporting patient diagnoses and ICD-10-PCS for reporting hospital inpatient procedures - both will replace ICD-9-CM.

The use of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS applies to all "Covered Entities," that is health plans, health care clearinghouses and health care providers that transmit electronic health information in connection with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) transaction standards.

Another final rule was issued on January 15, 2009 calling for the adoption of an updated version to the current HIPAA electronic transaction standards (Version 5010). The newer versions replace the existing HIPAA transaction standards on January 1, 2012.

On August 4, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule implementing the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 by changing the compliance date for ICD-10, including the Official ICD–10–CM Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, and the Official ICD–10–PCS Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015. It also requires HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015.

Partial Code Freeze

The ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee implemented a partial freeze of the ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 (ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS) codes prior to the implementation of ICD-10, which would end one year after the implementation of ICD-10. The partial code freeze will continue through October 1, 2015, the new planned implementation date. Regular updates to ICD-10 will begin on October 1, 2016, one year after the implementation of ICD-10. See Partial Code Freeze for ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 for more information.

Benefits and Opportunities

The transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS will allow for precise diagnosis and procedure codes, resulting in the improved capture of health care information and more accurate reimbursement. Benefits of ICD-10-CM/PCS include:

  • Improved ability to measure health care services, including quality and safety data
  • Augmented sensitivity when refining grouping and reimbursement methodologies
  • Expanded ability to conduct public health surveillance
  • Decreased need to include supporting documentation with claims
  • Strengthened ability to distinguish advances in medicine and medical technology
  • Enhanced detail on socioeconomic, family relationships, ambulatory care conditions, problems related to lifestyle and the results of screening tests
  • Increased use of administrative data to evaluate medical processes and outcomes, to conduct biosurveillance and to support value-based purchasing initiatives

ICD-10-CM/PCS Rollout Plans for the AHA Central Office

During the transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS, the AHA Central Office is committed to supporting the health care field with the clearinghouse function and publishing of AHA Coding Clinic.

Since many of the questions published in Coding Clinic for ICD-9-CM arose out of the need to provide clarification on the use of ICD-9 codes, there are no plans to translate all previous issues of Coding Clinic for ICD-9-CM into ICD-10-CM/PCS.

With the Fourth Quarter 2012 issue of Coding Clinic for ICD-9-CM, the AHA Central Office launched the publication of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding questions that were reviewed and approved through the same process used for all Coding Clinic questions.

Given the imminent compliance date for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS, the following timeline was developed with the approval of the Cooperating Parties:

  • Fall 2013: The last meeting of the AHA Coding Clinic Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) meeting where ICD-9-CM questions were addressed.
  • January 1, 2014: After 30 years of providing ICD-9-CM coding advice, the AHA Central Office shifted its attention to ICD-10-CM/PCS and no longer accepts nor responds to requests for ICD-9-CM coding advice.
  • First Quarter 2014: Last issue of Coding Clinic for ICD-9-CM was published. First issue of Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS was also published.

An excerpt from the AHA Legislative Advisory - April 1, 2014

The AHA opposes delaying implementation of the ICD-10 coding system. Many hospitals have incurred  substantial financial obligations in implementing ICD-10, and this delay will slow down the transition to value-based payment in the health system.

AHA Central Office is committed to providing coding advice and resources to the coding community.   Please check our website often as we keep you up-to-date on the latest coding news. 
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