Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Start Coding Again

CMS has announced that 5,594 new ICD-10 CM Codes will be added on October 1, 2016.  This figure includes 1,943 diagnosis codes and 3,651 hospital inpatient procedure codes. Readers of the ADVOCATE Enews will recall that CMS paused updates to the code leading up to the transition to ICD-10 to ease the transition process for providers. This new influx of codes, along with the phase out of edit leniency, will make the fall interesting once again.

While ADVOCATE and those that prepared properly from a training, resource, and financial perspective praised the transition to the new coding system as a success, others experienced a decrease in coding productivity and an increase in claim denials that has overwhelmed resources.  While MAC’s experienced difficulties loading local coverage decisions (LCD) into their systems and errors with national coverage decisions (NCD) were not uncommon, overall the transition was a success.  Whether it was necessary is another question.


More preparation will be necessary for the fall as the new changes will likely exacerbate payers systems as the increased number of codes and greater coding specificity that is required begins in October.

As always, ADVOCATE will keep you up to date on this and all issues impacting radiology as they become available.

Best regards,
Kirk Reinitz, CPA