Physician's Coding Strategist-It's time to update your internal coding guides

The emphasis by Medicare and commercial payers on proper documentation of items such as medical necessity means practices must keep their inhouse code books, billing procedures, and staff current on the latest codes to avoid problems getting paid — or even potential audits.

New codes could take longer to implement

Here's a list of the new ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes used by most physician practices that have been approved for use in FY 2001. These codes became effective Oct.1, 2000. But, it could be several months before they are implemented by most payers.

If you have not already, your office should be keying these codes into its information system plus briefing both billers and providers about the changes.

New diagnosis codes include:

Infectious and parasitic diseases

• 007.5 Cyclosporiasis

• 082.40 Ehrlichiosis, unspecified

• 082.41 Ehrlichiosis chaffiensis (E. chaffiensis)

• 082.49 Other ehrlichiosis

Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs:

• 285.21 Anemia in end-stage renal disease

• 285.22 Anemia in neoplastic disease

• 285.29 Anemia of other chronic illness

Mental disorders:

• 294.10 Dementia in conditions classified elsewhere without behavioral disturbance

• 294.11 Dementia in conditions classified elsewhere with behavioral disturbance

Diseases of the nervous system and sensory organs:

• 372.81 Conjunctivochalasis

• 372.89 Other disorders of conjunctiva

Diseases of the respiratory system:

• 477.1 Allergic rhinitis, due to food

• 493.02 Extrinsic asthma, with acute exacerbation

• 493.12 Intrinsic asthma, with acute exacerbation

• 493.22 Chronic obstructive asthma, with acute exacerbation

• 493.92 Unspecified asthma, with acute exacerbation

• 494.0 Bronchiectasis without acute exacerbation

• 494.1 Bronchiectasis with acute exacerbation

Diseases of digestive system:

• 558.3 Allergic gastroenteritis and colitis

Diseases of the genitourinary system:

• 600.0 Hypertrophy (benign) of prostate

• 600.1 Nodular prostate

• 600.2 Benign localized hyperplasia of prostate

• 600.3 Cyst of prostate

• 600.9 Hyperplasia of prostate, unspecified

Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium:

• 645.10 Post-term pregnancy, unspecified as to episode of care or not applicable

• 645.11 Post-term pregnancy, delivered, with or without mention of antepartum condition

• 645.13 Post-term pregnancy, antepartum condition or complication

• 645.20 Prolonged pregnancy, unspecified as to episode of care or not applicable

• 645.11 Prolonged pregnancy, delivered, with or without mention of antepartum condition

• 645.13 Prolonged pregnancy, antepartum condition or complication

Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue:

• 692.75 Disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP)

• 707.10 Ulcer of lower limb, unspecified

• 707.11 Ulcer of thigh

• 707.12 Ulcer of calf

• 707.13 Ulcer of ankle

• 707.14 Ulcer of heel and midfoot

• 707.15 Ulcer of other part of foot

• 707.19 Ulcer of other part of lower limb

Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue:

• 727.83 Plica syndrome

Symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions:

• 781.91 Loss of height

• 781.92 Abnormal posture

• 781.99 Other symptoms involving nervous and musculoskeletal systems

• 783.21 Loss of weight

• 783.22 Underweight

• 783.40 Lack of normal physiological development, unspecified

• 783.41 Failure to thrive

• 783.42 Delayed milestones

• 783.43 Short stature

• 783.7 Adult failure to thrive

• 790.01 Precipitous drop in hematocrit

• 790.09 Other abnormality of red blood cells

• 792.5 Cloudy (hemodialysis) (peritoneal) dialysis affluent

Injury and poisoning:

• 995.7 Other adverse food reactions not elsewhere classified

• 996.87 Complications of transplanted organ, intestine