ICD -10 codes coming soon.

ICD - 10Yes ICD -10 codes are coming soon – finally.  International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems codes are created by the World Health Organization and are used around the world.  They are diagnosis codes that are used when doctors prescribe massage so you will need to be up on what is going on.

We are currently using ICD-9 codes which were created 35 years ago and are really out of date.   The ICD 10 codes were created in 1990 and all of the other countries who use the ICD coding system are already using them.  The US is way behind on this one.

The next version – ICD-11 are already on the way expected in 2017 or 2018.   There was of course many controversies over this because changing the codes means that all the doctors and all of the computers need to be updated every time which is of course a major project.  There was a lot of discussion saying that we should go right to ICD-11 but the rationale is that the ICD-10 is such a big change and is a foundation for the ICD-11’s.

ICD-9-CM codes 5 digits

  •  First digit is alpha (E or V) or numeric
  • Digits 2-5 are numeric
  • Decimal is placed after the third character
  • 14,000 codes

ICD-10-CM codes are 7 digits

  • Digit 1 is alpha; Digit 2 is numeric
  • Digits 3–7 are alpha or numeric
  • Decimal is placed after the third character
  • 69,000 codes to better capture specificity

ICD-10 codes will provide specific locations for injuries. They will also document chronic or acute pain issues.  The new codes are much more specific and will provide us with much more information about diseases and their treatments which will help with health management and research.

Since these are diagnosis codes and massage therapists can not diagnose clients, the codes will come from the doctor.  The doctor may or may not write the actual description of what the code means so you may have to look the code up to know what it means.   There are many free code look up databases online.  See ICD 10 Look up from CMS.

Here also are some common orthopedic codes that are used for rehabilitation from  Road to 10.

  • M54.2  Cervicalgia
  • M50.01 Cervical disc disorder with myelopathy, occipito-atlanto-axial region
  • M50.02  Cervical disc disorder with myelopathy, mid-cervical region
  • M50.03 Cervical disc disorder with myelopathy, cervicothoracic region
  • M54.30*  Sciatica, unspecified side
  • M54.31  Sciatica, right side
  • M54.32  Sciatica, left side
  • M54.40*  Lumbago with sciatica, unspecified side
  • M54.41 Lumbago with sciatica, right side
  • M54.42  Lumbago with sciatica, left side
  • M54.5  Low back pain
  • M54.6  Pain in thoracic spine

As you can see, these codes are much more specific so that will give you so much more information.

You can actually start using these now and you should actually start using them now.  You can start by just using it on like 10% of your clients to test the systems.  You will have to ask the doctors to start supplying the codes.  The reason for starting with them now is because we don’t know how all of the billing and insurance systems will work with handling the new codes although there has been extensive testing.  There could be delays in processing as everyone starts using the new codes.

Other resources:

CMS Provider resources

Road to 10

World Health Organization