Robin Gary Cummings: Providers need to update codes

March 10, 2014 

The Feb. 15 Washington Post story “Many more medical codes coming” in The N&O left the impression that only hospitals will be affected by ICD-10, the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases scheduled to go live Oct. 1. That is not so.

The federal mandate for ICD-10 diagnosis coding will be expected for all providers covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act, not just those who submit Medicare or Medicaid claims. DHHS has been sending providers periodic reminders about ICD-10 since the federal mandate was passed in 2009.

Time is running short for providers to update their business coding software to the new standard, which increases the number of codes from approximately 13,000 to approximately 68,000. Hospital inpatient procedure coding also has increased exponentially. We will post reminders and suggestions for switching to ICD-10 on the NCTracks web portal at nctracks.nc.gov. Oct. 1 will be here soon.

Robin Gary Cummings

Deputy secretary for Health Services, Department of Health and Human Services

Raleigh

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