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Proposed 'post' COVID ICD-10-CM code could take effect Oct. 1

Providers could get a new diagnosis code to report this fall for their post COVID-19 cases when the patient continues to have lingering symptoms after the infection is gone, ICD-10-CM officials announced this week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) added a new ICD-10 diagnosis code category, U09 (Post COVID-19 condition) and, within it, a new code, U09.9 (Post COVID-19 condition, unspecified). The new code is expected to be implemented for use in the U.S. on Oct. 1, 2021, stated officials with the ICD-10-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee during a March 10 meeting.
“We’re not entirely clear why some people have long-term problems and not others,” observed Dr. David Berglund, M.D., a staffer on the committee.
While details for the proposed code still must be ironed out before it is finalized, code U09.9 could be reported secondary to specific condition codes, such as chronic respiratory failure (J96.1-), loss of smell (R43.8) or loss of taste (R43.8), according to the proposal.
If finalized, the code would be the second COVID code added to Chapter 22 of the ICD-10-CM manual, joining U07.1 (COVID-19), which took effect last April.
The ICD-10-CM panel is seeking comments on the proposed post COVID-19 code until April 9.
ICD-10 committee officials also announced at the meeting that they are considering allowing more codes to be implemented on April 1 each year. Current policy allows the panel to issue new codes on April 1 to address new technology or emergent or infectious diseases. However, the committee is considering allowing new codes to be added that do not meet those criteria, according to Donna Pickett, co-chair of the committee.
April 1 code updates would likely be simple and not involve long lists of new codes, Pickett explained. The committee is seeking comment on the idea by May 10.
The committee also discussed an extensive list of code additions and revisions for possible implementation Oct. 1, 2022, including dozens of new codes for social determinants of health and an expansion of codes for dementia.
Proposals may be viewed on the committee website hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.
Blog Tags: COVID-19, ICD-10
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