News in Brief

One-year grace period for ICD-10 ends Oct. 1, 2016

Beginning next month, Medicare contractors are slated to begin denying claims billed under Part B if incorrect ICD-10 codes are used.

Physicians have a few more weeks to work out any kinks in their coding as the one-year grace period on ICD-10 code selection is set to expire on Saturday, Oct. 1.

In an effort to help physicians adapt to ICD-10, for 12 months after ICD-10 implementation last fall, Medicare review contractors would not deny claims based solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code as long as the physician used a valid code from the right family. CMS has stated that this grace period will not be extended.

To avoid unnecessary denials, physicians should make sure they are always coding to the highest level of specificity and not use an unspecified diagnostic code when a code exists for the clinical documentation provided.

A complete list of the 2016 ICD-10-CM valid codes and codes titles is posted on the CMS website. The codes are listed in tabular order to reflect the ICD-10-CM code book. Also available is the 2017 ICD-10-CM updated diagnosis code set for services provided on or after Oct. 1, 2016.

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