CMS publishes procedural coding changes — 392 new codes for 2019

CMS released ICD-10-PCS updates for hospital inpatient coding professionals to use for discharges from Oct. 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2019.

ICD-10-CM diagnosis code changes for 2019 have not yet been published.

Here are six insights:

1. There were 78,705 ICD-10-PCS codes for 2018. The total for 2019 is 78,881.

2. For fiscal year 2019, there will be 392 new codes, eight revised titles and 216 deleted codes.

3. Guideline B3.17 was added in response to public comment. The guideline relates to transfer procedures using multiple tissue layers.

4. Guidelines A10, B3.7 and B6.1a were revised in response to public comment and internal review.

  • A10 states that "and," when used in a code description, means "and/or," except when used to describe a combination of multiple body parts for which separate values exist for each body.
  • B3.7 defines the root operation control as "stopping, or attempting to stop, postprocedural or other acute bleeding" and provides more definitive root operations to be coded for certain circumstances.
  • B6.1a stipulates a device is coded only if it remains after a procedure's completion and provides additional guidelines for when to code the insertion and removal of a device.

5. The official guidelines, as well as six other files containing information on the changes, are available for download on CMS' website.

6. The guidelines were approved by the American Hospital Association, the American Health Information Management Association, CMS and the National Center for Health Statistics.

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