We all have those codes that we’ve memorized – the ones that we assign on autopilot when we read certain documentation. For many coders, that code is Z79.899, Other long term (current) drug therapy. It is the catchall code when the patient is or has taken a medication on a long-term basis. Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS recommends using this code to capture the use of injectable diabetic drugs, Flonase, or immunosuppressants. Beginning October 1, 2022, many of these long-term drugs will have specific code assignments. So, get ready to retrain your brain and take it off autopilot when coding long term use of drug therapy.
New subcategory Z79.6, Long term (current) use of immunomodulators and immunosuppressants, has been created with 14 codes to describe several therapeutics that have traditionally been captured with code Z79.899. This increased granularity makes it possible to report therapies that are being used more commonly. Even if you took a pharmacology class when you were learning to code, the drugs change faster than educational courses can keep up, so we’ve taken some of the guess work out of it and created this crosswalk to help you choose the correct long term drug therapy code – at least until they come out with a new drug next week!
|Code||Code Description||Drug Name (generic/brand)|
|Z79.60||Long term (current) use of unspecified immunomodulators and immunosuppressants|
|Z79.61||Long term (current) use of immunomodulator||
immunomodulatory imide drug
|Z79.620||Long term (current) use of immunosuppressive biologic||
|Z79.621||Long term (current) use of calcineurin inhibitor||
|Z79.622||Long term (current) use of Janus kinase inhibitor||tofacitinib (Xeljanz)|
|Z79.623||Long term (current) use of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor||sirolimus (Rapamune)|
|Z79.624||Long term (current) use of inhibitors of nucleotide synthesis||
purine synthesis (IMDH) inhibitors
|Z79.630||Long term (current) use of alkylating agent||
|Z79.631||Long term (current) use of antimetabolite agent||
|Z79.632||Long term (current) use of antitumor antibiotic||
|Z79.633||Long term (current) use of mitotic inhibitor||
|Z79.634||Long term (current) use of topoisomerase inhibitor||
|Z79.64||Long term (current) use of myelosuppressive agent||hydroxyurea|
|Z79.69||Long term (current) use of other immunomodulators and immunosuppressants|
There is also a new code being introduced to report long-term use of injectable diabetic medications other than insulin. This includes medications such as Trulia and Victoza.
|Z79.85||Long-term (current) use of injectable non-insulin antidiabetic drugs|
In addition to these new ICD-10-CM codes for fiscal year 2023, there are also several new ICD-10-PCS codes for new therapies.
To learn more about the 2023 ICD-10 code changes, look for our ICD-10 updates webinars releasing on August 25, 2022.
Kristi Pollard, RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
Director of Coding Quality & Education
Kristi is a senior consultant with more than 20 years of industry experience. She develops and delivers training on ICD-10-CM/PCS and CPT, both virtually and in classroom settings.
Kristi also performs DRG and APC audits and is known for her vast knowledge on coding vascular interventional radiology procedures. Kristi has an extensive background in coding education and consulting and is a national speakers on topics related to ICD-10 and CPT coding as well as code-based reimbursement.