Code Freeze Coming for ICD-9 and 10

The ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee announced today that it will suspend regular updates to the ICD code sets in 2012 and 2013 to ease the industry’s transition to ICD-10. The partial freeze—which will affect ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/PCS— will allow organizations to focus on the system change without managing code updates at the same time.

The last full updates prior to the freeze will occur next year as usual. The partial freeze will take place in 2012 and 2013, with regular updates resuming in 2014. The timeline is as follows:

  • October 1, 2011: regular, annual updates will be made to the ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 code sets.
  • October 1, 2012: limited code updates will be made to the ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 code sets to capture new technologies and diseases.
  • October 1, 2013: limited code updates will be made to the ICD-10 code sets (only) to capture new technologies and diseases. There will be no updates to ICD-9-CM, as it will no longer be used for reporting.
  • October 1, 2014: regular updates to ICD-10 resume. 

The limited updates in 2012 and 2013 are required by section 503(a) of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003.

The ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee maintains the code sets in the US. It proposed the partial freeze at its March meeting and finalized the decision at today’s meeting after receiving comments through the summer.

The committee will continue to meet twice a year during the partial freeze. At the meetings it will solicit comments on whether requests for new diagnosis or procedure codes should be created to capture new technologies or diseases. Any new code requests that are not determined to be essential updates will be evaluated for implementation on or after October 1, 2014, once regular updates resume.

1 Comment

  1. Since the ICD-10 implementation date has been changed to October 1, 2014, does that change the timeline for the type of updates to ICD-9 for October 1, 2012? Will this update be limited or will it be a regular update?

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