ICD-10-CM Coding Changes

ICD-10-CM Coding Changes

It’s not too early to begin preparing for the implementation of ICD-10-CM coding changes, which is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2015. Although health care professionals do not need to use the new codes yet, they should start becoming familiar with the new structure and the key changes that will impact gynecologic oncologists.

Greater Code Specificity

ICD-10 coding incorporates greater specificity by including more site-specific codes and identification of laterality for some organs. These changes will necessitate changes in documentation practices to ensure appropriate code selection. For example, ICD-9-CM code 182.0 is used for primary malignancies of the corpus uteri. In ICD-10-CM, the documentation must indicate whether the neoplasm is in the isthmus, endometrium, myometrium, fundus or overlapping sites in order to select the most accurate code. In addition, malignant neoplasms of the ovary will include distinct codes for the right and left ovary.

As with ICD-9-CM, neoplasms will continue to be classified by site and then behavior. ICD-10-CM codes are organized in blocks with additional subcategories. All ICD-10-CM codes are alphanumeric with the first character being a letter, the second being a number, and the remaining characters alpha or numeric. Malignant neoplasms of female genital organs are in the block C51-C58. Although there can be up to seven characters for a condition in ICD-10-CM, many of the neoplasm codes used by gynecologic oncologists require only four or five characters.

How to Prepare

Medical practices should start preparing now for the ICD-10-CM coding changes on Oct. 1, 2015.

Recognizing the primary differences between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM will help determine what changes need to occur and what resources a practice will need.

  • Identify those staff members who are directly involved in coding and billing and plan and budget for their training now.
  • Staff should then identify documentation changes that will need to occur and begin the training process with physicians and other providers.
  • Practices should also talk with vendors about their plans for transitioning to the new codes and whether they will be offering training for staff and physicians.
  • Practices should plan for a general introduction to ICD-10 for physicians in 2013, but intensive training should wait until six to nine months prior to the implementation.
  • For more information, refer to the ICD-9/ICD-10 Crosswalk for Gynecologic Oncology

SGO Planned Education

SGO has many opportunities to learn about the upcoming ICD-10-CM changes and help members prepare.

  • SGO is offering two live webinars with coding expert Brad Hart on July 22 and September 30, 2015 to help practitioners prepare for the transition. Recordings of the webinars will be available afterwards for on demand viewing.
  • Email coding questions to coding@sgo.org. Members of the SGO Coding and Reimbursement Taskforce review and respond to inquiries regularly.

Be proactive and help ensure a smooth transition to ICD-10-CM in 2015: Watch the sgo.org website and newsletters for resources and training opportunities as the implementation deadline approaches. If you would like to be notified of new coding resources as they become available, email coding@sgo.org and ask to be added to the coding mailing list.