New ICD-10 Diagnosis Codes Help Specify Laterality

If you haven’t yet taken a look at the new ICD-10 diagnosis codes that will go into effect October 1, now is the time to review them—the new codes could impact how your practice documents and codes dozens of eye conditions. Fortunately, however, although hundreds of new codes are rolling out, the changes won’t require too much education for your coders, billers and eye care physicians.

Here’s the scoop on new ICD-10 codes:

Most of the new codes help you better specify which eyelid a condition affects. For instance, if the patient has blepharitis — a condition you are likely to see quite frequently — you now have access to codes that describe both the upper and lower lids of each eye. For instance, H01.02B (Squamous blepharitis left eye, upper and lower eyelids) simplifies the coding process here, since in the past you had to report separate codes for the upper and lower eyelids.

Where this could become tricky, however, is when your eye care providers have gotten used to not specifying the site — and now the new ICD-10 codes require them to note which eye and lid are impacted. For instance, a neoplasm on a patient’s eyelid now requires you to pick a code depending on which eye was affected (right or left) and which eyelid (upper or lower). If this information is not in the documentation, you’ll have a tough time coding.

Overall, the remaining eye code introductions won’t dramatically impact how eye care coders report their claims. And on the bright side, if your documentation has been pristine all along, the new codes won’t cause you any issues at all when they roll out in October!

 

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