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ICD-10 2019 Changes - Lessons Learned

Posted By Giovanna Stahl
medical non compliance icd 10

Year after year, medical codes change due to advancing technology and the modernization of medical processes and procedures so that they are more efficient and effective. Healthcare facilities must adapt quickly to the updates to significantly reduce any denials or inaccurate coding or billing from taking place, which will ensure quality service every time. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a total number of 473 ICD-10-CM coding changes, which included 279 new codes, 143 revised codes, and 51 deactivated codes. 


As ECLAT Health Solutions is committed to ensuring every healthcare facility is running efficiently with expert coding quality analyst support provided by our highly-trained team, we understand how crucial accurate coding is to your facility’s revenue cycle and below we discuss a few of the lessons we’ve learned from the 2019 ICD-10 changes.

MS-DRG Groupings: Changes in Severity Level

CMS rolled out the 2020 IPPS code and MS-DRG changes. Coders, CDI, and auditors settled into utilizing the 273 new diagnosis codes, 734 new procedure codes and 2,056 deleted/invalid procedure codes. For most facilities, the updates were tested and loaded without any incidents. Marie Thomas, our Revenue Cycle Operations Vice President stated that, “one of the areas of change to watch carefully are the severity level changes for the MS-DRG groupings. There are 1,493 diagnosis codes that are either new comorbidities, major comorbidities, or downgraded from a major comorbidity or were upgraded from a comorbidity to a major comorbidity.” Due to the extensive coding changes and complete removals, this may be a bit confusing for healthcare facilities to keep track of properly adjusting patient reimbursement levels

Obstetrical Complication Coding and Decubitus/Pressure Ulcer Coding

There are also two key areas to keep an eye on: obstetrical complication coding and decubitus/pressure ulcer coding. For instance, ICD-10 codes for decubitus, also known as pressure ulcers, has grown longer and now includes pressure-induced deep tissue damage. These codes are relevant to the site as well as the side of where the ulcer is located. Due to how much more detailed and distinctive these updates are, if coding is implemented accurately alongside its diagnosis and treatment, patient outcomes will improve greatly. Marie states that, “during this time of change, monitor your CMI carefully. The CMS websites below is the place to go in order to ensure all your staff are kept up-to-date.”

Choose Quality Coding Quality Analyst Support for ICD-10 2020 Changes

With the new ICD-10 2020 changes already in full effect, having additional coding analyst support is highly advised, as it will allow healthcare providers and medical coders to communicate more efficiently. Not only will this significantly reduce errors and denials from occurring, but it will allow patients to have a better experience overall. ECLAT Health Solutions is dedicated to providing the medical coding support your team needs to maintain a healthy revenue cycle and work environment. Fill out our form today to improve your healthcare facility’s medical coding processes and procedures today. 

Tags: Revenue Cycle Management, medical coding quality assurance, medical coding experts, Marie Thomas, ICD-10 2019 changes, quality medical coding analyst, MS-DRG Groupings, Obstetrical Complication Coding, Decubitus/Pressure Ulcer Coding