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General Surgery Coding Alert

Reader Question:
Bypass 2013 ICD-9 Changes

Question: We always prepare for ICD-9 changes in the fall of each year, but I haven't heard anything this year. Are there updates planned for 2013 that I've somehow missed? Tennessee SubscriberAnswer: There are no ICD-9-CM diagnosis code updates planned for 2013 (effective Oct. 1, 2012). There's a freeze in place until ICD-10-CM replaces ICD-9-CM, and that means no new codes. The ICD-9-CM Coordination Committee can make other changes, however. The committee has resisted making any changes to the alphabetical index and tabular list for ICD-9-CM, but they have made changes to ICD-10-CM. Plus, there may or may not be changes to the coding guidelines.Potential changes for the annual ICD-9-CM update usually appear at this time of year in CMS's Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) proposed rule, but this year's IPPS indicated you won't have to deal with any changes. Instead, your general surgery practice can focus on ICD-10 preparation.