On June 11, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the FY 2019 ICD-10-CM code changes. There are 473 code changes, including 279 new codes, 143 revised codes, and 51 deactivated codes. These codes are to be used from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.

What is included in the 2019 ICD-10-CM code changes?

A go-to code for an infected surgical wound, T81.4xxA, is among the 51 codes that are set to be deleted. Instead, coders will have 15 additional codes added to an expanded T81.4- subcategory that will allow for more accurate reporting of the depth of the infection. For example, coders will have the ability to specify whether the surgical wound infection is affecting the superficial incision surgical site (T81.41-), the deep incisional surgical site (T81.42-), or the organ and space surgical site (T81.43-). Other surgical site and unspecified options will also be available (T81.49- and T81.40-). Each of these codes requires a seventh character: “A,” “D,” or “S.”

New codes T81.41-, T81.42- and T81.43- will receive additional inclusion terms to help guide coders to the appropriate code choice. “Subcutaneous abscess following a procedure” and “Stitch abscess following a procedure” will be placed at T81.41-.

“Intra-muscular abscess following a procedure” will be added to T81.42- while “Intra-abdominal abscess following a procedure” and “Subphrenic abscess following a procedure” will be placed at T81.43-.

Three new codes have been included in the 2019 ICD-10-CM to uniquely capture postprocedural sepsis, T81.44- (Sepsis following a procedure), with seventh character options “A,” “D,” or “S.” Additionally, the tabular instruction to “Use Additional code to identify the sepsis” will be added to the new postprocedural sepsis code T81.44.

Additionally, many of the new codes added to the 2019 ICD-10-CM code set are external cause codes to be used to describe exploitation of children and adults in the form of psychological abuse, bullying and intimidation, forced sexual exploitation, or forced labor exploitation. This includes T76.51xD (Adult forced sexual exploitation, suspected, subsequent encounter) and Z91.42 (Personal history of forced labor or sexual exploitation).

Make sure your home health or hospice agency is ready for 2019 ICD-10-CM.

It is important that all coding professionals and OASIS review specialists review the changes to the 2019 ICD-10-CM to ensure they do not experience rejected claims and a potential loss to cash flow. HEALTHCAREfirst will host a webinar on September 12, 2018 where we provide valuable information about the 2019 ICD-10-CM to help you ensure coding accuracy and safeguard your agency. Click here for more information and to register.

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Will your agency be ready for the new coding changes? HEALTHCAREfirst‘s certified coding experts will! We offer thorough home health and hospice coding services performed by experience coders at an affordable price. At HEALTHCAREfirst, we serve as an extension of your team and work hard to optimize cash flow for your agency.

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