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FY 2023 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting

Published on 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

 | Billing 
 | Coding 
 | Quality 

Did You Know?

The 2023 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting were posted to the CMS website on June 10, 2022 (link). You can also find the guidelines on the CDC ICD-10-CM webpage (link).

Why It Matters?

It is important to annually review the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting as “these guidelines have been developed to assist both the healthcare provider and the coder in identifying those diagnoses that are to be reported. The importance of consistent, complete documentation in the medical record cannot be overemphasized. Without such documentation accurate coding cannot be achieved. The entire record should be reviewed to determine the specific reason for the encounter and the conditions treated.” As of June 29th, there are only 92 days to become familiar with the October 1, 2022, changes.

Narrative Guideline changes appear in bold text in this document. Following are a few examples of new guidance in FY 2023:

Section 1. A.19 Conventions for the ICD-10-CM – Code assignment and Clinical Criteria

Previous guidance states “The assignment of a diagnosis code is based on the provider’s diagnostic statement that the condition exists. The provider’s statement that the patient has a particular condition is sufficient. Code assignment is not based on clinical criteria used by the provider to establish the diagnosis.”

New for FY 2023, coders are advised that “If there is conflicting medical record documentation, query the provider.”

Section 1.B.14 General Coding Guideline - Documentation by Clinicians Other than the Patient’s Provider

The list of diagnosis considered to be one of the “few exceptions when code assignment may be based on medical record documentation from clinicians who are not the patient’s provider,” continues to expand. Examples of past additions to this list includes:

    • Body Mass Index (BMI) was one of the first exceptions. • NIH stroke scale (NIHSS) was added to the list for FY 2017. • Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) were initially added in FY 2019. In FY 2021, additional guidance was added regarding this group of Z codes (Z55-Z65) indicating that “patient self-reported documentation may also be used to assign codes for social determinants of health, as long as the patient self-reported information is signed-off and incorporated into the health record by either a clinician or provider.” • Blood Alcohol Level was added to the list for FY 2022.

New for FY 2023, “Underimmunization status” has been added to the list and should only be reported as a secondary diagnosis.

Section 1.B. 16. General Coding Guideline - Documentation of Complications of Care

Previous guidance stated “there must be a cause-and-effect relationship between the care provided and the condition. New for FY 2023, this sentence now goes on to add that “the documentation must support that the condition is clinically significant. It is not necessary for the provider to explicitly document the term “complication.” For example, if the condition alters the course of the surgery as documented in the operative report, then it would be appropriate to report a complication code.”

You are further advised to query the provider “if documentation is not clear as to the relationship between the condition and the care or procedure.”

Section C.1.d.9 Chapter-Specific Coding Guidelines – Certain Infectious and Parasitic Diseases – Sepsis, Severe Sepsis, and Septic Shock Infections resistant to antibiotics

New to the Guidelines is the following guidance regarding hemolytic-uremic syndrome associated with sepsis: “If the reason for admission is hemolytic-uremic syndrome that is associated with sepsis, assign code D59.31, Infection-associated hemolytic-uremic syndrome, as the principal diagnosis. Codes for the underlying systemic infection and any other conditions (such as severe sepsis) should be assigned as secondary diagnoses.”

What Can You Do?

As mentioned earlier, reading the guidelines annually is important and is one tool to ensure accurate coding. Remember, this article does not detail all that is new for FY 2023. When reading the guidelines, look for what is new and each time the guidelines tell you to query the provider if documentation is unclear. Finally, be sure to share this information with your Coding and Clinical Documentation Integrity staff as part of their preparedness plan for the October 1st start of the 2023 CMS Fiscal Year.

Article Author: Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS
Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system. In her current position, Beth is a principle writer for MMP’s Wednesday@One weekly e-newsletter, an active member of our HIPAA Compliance Committee, MMP’s Education Department Program Director and co-developer of MMP’s proprietary Compliance Protection Assessment Tool.

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.