Coding changes for FY2020

CMS is proposing hundreds of new codes, revisions and deletions for ICD-10 beginning Oct. 1

Another round of changes to the ICD-10-CM code set will usher in hundreds of new codes, a few deletions and many revisions to existing codes in October, when fiscal year 2020 gets underway.

Proposed coding changes announced this week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reflect the continuing pursuit of specificity in the coding field, according to J’non Griffin, owner and president of Home Health Solutions.

“It’s all about the details,” she said. “Just as in previous years, proposed changes for FY2020 are broadening the choices coders have for capturing greater detail and really honing in on specifics such as laterality and location.”

CMS has proposed adding 273 new codes, making 30 revisions and deleting 21 codes for FY2020, J’non said.

Among the new codes are 25 specifically designed to capture deep tissue injury detail and eliminate one of the current inconsistencies within the ICD-10 code set.

"Currently, deep tissue injuries are coded as unstageable pressure ulcers,” J’non said. “These new codes will provide the alternative that coders have asked for, enabling us to do a better reporting job for pressure-induced deep tissue damage.”

Coders will also have more choices for reporting poisonings, adverse effects or underdosing with 18 new T codes. “New poisoning codes will specifically show whether the cause was accidental, intentional, due to an assault or undetermined,” J’non said.

New Z codes will enable coders to report factors influencing health status and any contact the patient may have had with health services.

“This is part of a growing focus in home health on reporting and considering all circumstances and conditions which could have an impact on the patient’s health, recovery and overall outcome,” J’non said. “This expansion of Z codes falls right in line with the effort to consider all aspects influencing the episode of care.”

Home Health Solutions will feature more about the proposed coding changes for 2020 in upcoming issues of SOLUTIONS, our free Monday e-newsletter featuring industry news, insight and analysis, coding tips and more. Not a subscriber? Sign up here.