ICD-10 Diagnosis Codes Change Again October 1, 2017

Yes, it is happening again

Some of the ICD-10 diagnostic codes you find in the DSM-5, that we use every day on invoices and claims, are changing as part of their annual update. Even though these are officially titled “The 2018 Codes,” they are scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2017. All healthcare providers must use these codes in documentation and for insurance billing, whether they contract with insurance or not.

What’s different?

ICD-10 (International Classification of Diagnosis) codes are associated with DSM-5 diagnoses. Updates are typically made yearly to provide greater ”diagnostic specificity” — to communicate more information with the code, or to separate it from another diagnosis that shares the same code.

According to the new 2018 Codes, you wouldn’t, for example, use the same code for a client actively abusing alcohol as you would for a client in remission. These changes might affect how many sessions a health plan will allot before a treatment review is triggered. Keep in mind, treatment reviews are often triggered if the treatment frequency and type seem inappropriate for the diagnosis.

This year’s code changes in mental health are almost all related to substance use disorders, including tobacco use. New codes have been added for clients in early or sustained remission for each severity level of the disorder (mild, moderate, or severe). In addition, the code for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder has changed. 

Next steps

Here’s an easy-to-print table with old and new codes.

Take a look at this step-by-step guide on how to apply these changes in your SimplePractice account.

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