Health Information Management

New ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes offer hint of what future holds

HIM-HIPAA Insider, October 25, 2011

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Variety is often the spice of life, and this year's 168 new ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes seem to reflect this adage.

This October marks the last regular annual update to ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM. Limited code updates for new technology and diseases will occur October 1, 2012. ICD-10-CM/PCS becomes effective October 1, 2013.
One interesting trend for this year is that several new codes emphasize infections and complications, says Gloryanne Bryant, BS, RHIA, RHIT, CCS, CCDS. Bryant is regional managing director of HIM, NCAL revenue cycle, at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. & Hospitals in Oakland, CA. "This makes me think we're going to see these being important in terms of quality measures in the future," she says.
For example, code 996.88 denotes complications of transplanted organ, stem cell. Code 999.32 denotes bloodstream infection due to central venous catheter. Code 999.33 denotes local infection due to central venous catheter. Code 999.34 denotes acute infection following transfusion, infusion, or injection of blood and blood products. Each of these codes is a CC.
However, coders may be surprised to find that some of the new codes for complications and infections don't appear in the 996-999 range, which typically denotes complications of surgical and medical care.
Editor’s note: Click here to read the entire article in the October issue of Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies.

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