Comments are now due on coding proposals.

The last Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting was held on Sept. 14 and 15. The sessions included the presentation of diagnosis and procedure proposals. The time is fast approaching to provide comments on the presented proposals.

I find that the Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting provides the “spirit” of the codes. The attendees learn about the background of why each code is needed and how the information will be used. There are benefits to participating in the Coordination and Maintenance Committee process. Free continuing education credits are given for each hour that a session is watched. There is also satisfaction in providing feedback during the code development process. Have you ever seen a new code and wondered “what is the purpose of that code?” or “how would this data be used?”

Attendees can also provide “live” feedback, but not everyone is comfortable with public speaking. Another way to participate in the code development process is to write comments about the diagnosis and/or procedure proposals. These comments can be sent by email. I have provided information regarding where to find the diagnosis and procedure proposals and the email addresses to use to send the comments. There is not a specific format in providing comments. You should identify the proposal that you are commenting on and provide your feedback, which can include favorable or unfavorable comments. The remarks could include how the code will solve a data collection issue or be used in reporting specific data. Comments on the diagnosis and procedure code proposals are due by Nov. 15.

There were 42 proposals presented in all. A partial list of proposals for diagnosis codes included:

  • Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and bronchiolitis obliterans;
  • Apnea of newborns;
  • Contrast-induced nephropathy;
  • Electric assisted bicycles;
  • Hepatic encephalopathy;
  • Malignant pericardial effusion; and
  • PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome.

There were just a few proposals presented for procedures. Some of the topics included:

  • Administration of broad consortium microbiota-based live biotherapeutic suspension;
  • Pressure controlled intermittent coronary sinus occlusion; and
  • Measurement of exhaled nitric oxide.

As an example, your comments could include that the code proposal on bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and bronchiolitis obliterans will make it too difficult to distinguish one condition versus the other. Another example centers on the administration of substances; a concern in this area could be that there will not be enough space in the code set to capture every substance. That opinion was voiced many times during the Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting.

During the most recent Talk-Ten-Tuesdays broadcast, the Listeners Survey asked: are you willing to provide an opinion on the new code proposals? The responses were:

    1. I have before and will by Nov. 15 (3.4 percent)
    2. I have before but won’t for these proposals (3.4 percent)
    3. I am willing to try (34.4 percent)
    4. No (21.6 percent)
    5. No opinion (37.1 percent)

It is encouraging to see that more than a third of our listeners are willing to try to respond to the code proposals. It is important for coders to influence the development of the ICD-10-CM/PCS classifications.

Remember that diagnosis and procedure codes will be approved more frequently with the addition of an April 1 code release, effective April 1, 2022. According to the announced timeline, the approved codes will be announced in November. By Feb. 1, the software, code files, and coding guideline updates will be published.

I am asking you to participate in the developing the “spirit” of these codes by writing comments on the code proposals. Join me in sharing your opinion!

Programming Note: Listen to Laurie Johnson’s live Coding Report every Tuesday on Talk Ten Tuesdays, 10 Eastern.

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