As the COVID-19 virus continues to mutate, so do the codes and coding advice used to track this pandemic. So where do we go for the latest information on COVID-19 coding? Here are the resources we recommend bookmarking. Make sure you reference them frequently, as these free resources are continuously updated!
The official resources for ICD-10-CM are the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting and Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS. While you may have to wait for the next quarterly release of Coding Clinic, we recommend referencing the CDC’s webpage for ICD-10-CM updates and be on the lookout for any updates to the coding guidelines. At the time of this publication, the latest announcement from the CDC includes an April 1, 2022, release of ICD-10-CM and the guidelines to include details on reporting underimmunization for COVID-19 status.
ICD-10-PCS is also subject to mid-year updates, so be on the lookout for the updated code set and guidelines. While these changes will be provided in regular updates to encoder software, if you are coding from a hardcopy book, you may be missing some table values. Case in point: there are new codes for COVID booster shots and third vaccines as well as COVID-19 therapy that will become effective on April 1, 2022. The time of this writing, the ICD-10-PCS code set, including the tables and guidelines were last updated on December 1, 2021, and includes the April 2022 updates. Bookmark CMS’ ICD-10-PCS page so you can check for updates.
ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Resources
While Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS publishes the updated AHIMA and AHA FAQ: ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding for COVID-19, if you are relying solely on that publication, you are likely referencing potentially outdated information. The Journal of AHIMA keeps this document updated real-time. At the time of this publication, it was last updated on August 27, 2021.
If you are looking for announcements related to the midyear release of ICD-10-CM/PCS codes, we recommend bookmarking CMS’ page for MS-DRG Classifications and Software page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for “Latest News” to download files related to recent code changes, which also impact the MS-DRG grouper.
When looking for the latest on reporting vaccination and lab related CPT codes, our go-to resource is the AMA’s “COVID-19 CPT coding and guidance” web page. This is continuously updated as new codes are released.
If you are wondering what you need to know to bill for COVID-19 services for Medicare fee-for-service claims, look no further than CMS’ COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing document. This document covers FAQs for various types of health care settings.
For information regarding additional payments to hospitals under CMS’ New COVID-19 Treatments Add-on Payment (NCTAP) program under IPPS, CMS’ website outlines which code combinations are eligible for the additional payment.
2022 On-demand Webinar and Job Aids
To help you decipher these resources and offer timely and meaningful education to kick off the new year, Haugen Academy will release an on-demand webinar on January 20, 2022, titled “Coding in the Age of COVID-19.” In this informative webinar, presenters Shea Lunt and Kristi Pollard will summarize current coding for COVID-19 using ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, and CPT.
We have also updated our COVID-19 job aids with the most recent codes and coding advice.
COVID-19 Coding Decision Tree
Coding Tip Sheet for COVID-19
Kristi Pollard, RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
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.
Shea Lunt, RHIA, CPC, CPMA, PMP
Shea is a consultant for The Haugen Consulting Group with 11 years of health care industry experience. Shea has experience working on the professional fee side of coding, auditing, education and compliance serving coders and physicians.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in health information management and a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Kansas. Shea is a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
Shea, her husband, and their daughters, call the wide-open spaces of central Kansas home.