ICD-10 updates revised more than just code sets
On Oct. 1, 2016, U.S. healthcare organizations revised the ICD-10-CM/PCS codes they were working with. This required more training and system updates.
But the actual codes weren't the only things that changed. The coding guidelines were revised also. The guidelines explained how the ICD-10 codes were to be applied and defined key concepts.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has the new guidelines online:
Tina Brown, director of operations for coding and revenue cycle at ELIPSe, Los Angeles, told Revenue Cycle Advisor that the ICD-10 guideline changes brought greater clarity. But other changes were a bit trickier to grasp.
The guideline changes include terminology updates. That can create confusion if clinicians cling to the older terms and can't find those terms in the ICD-10 codes. Or they may continue to use outdated terminology in documentation.
These coding and guideline updates will be the new normal. Medical knowledge is always evolving. ICD-10 coding and guidelines need to keep up with it.