Get Ready: Code Downpour On Its Way

Overseen by AHIMA’s coding experts for the Journal of AHIMA website, the Code Cracker blog takes a look at challenging areas and documentation opportunities for coding and reimbursement. Check in each month for a new discussion.

Although many HIM professionals and coding professionals were just starting to get comfortable with ICD-10-CM/PCS, it is time to prepare for the thousands of new ICD-10 changes coming soon.

The upcoming ICD-10 updates for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 will also represent the first code update since the implementation of ICD-10-CM/PCS in the US. As such, there will be many changes for coding professionals to keep up with in the code sets. The ICD-10-CM changes include 1,943 new codes, 422 revised codes, and 305 deleted diagnosis codes.

The ICD-10-PCS code set will now have a total of 75,789 procedures codes available in FY 2017. This includes more than 3,827 new codes, 491 revised titles, and 12 deleted codes to cover. Changes in ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS vary from simple to complex and the number of changes is vast, but it will be essential to get to know them by October 1, 2016.

With the substantial changes coming to ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes for FY 2017, everyone is being urged to start getting ready and be prepared for October 1, 2016, getting started with education and training materials as soon as possible. With that in mind, now is also a good time to reinforce your current education program in order to build a solid foundation of knowledge upon which to ensure coding accuracy. It’s always a good practice to use both the code book Index and Tabular, especially with the magnitude of upcoming changes.

Coding professionals will need to be ready in various areas such as having the knowledge to apply the numerous coding updates and recognizing potential documentation needs. They will also need to be able to identify potential MCC and CC changes and understand the code change rationale.

Because there are so many changes—from spelling errors to Excludes notes—along with added and deleted codes, it makes it difficult to select even a few to share. I suggest visiting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website. The links are listed at the end of this article so you can start exploring the changes.

Also to get you started, here’s a snapshot of some interesting changes from the ICD-10-CM Index to Diseases and Injuries – 2017 Addenda:

Changes from ICD10CM Index to Diseases and Injuries 2017 Addenda

A few more interesting observations from reviewing the ICD-10-CM update Index is Bacteriuria currently is assigned to code N39.0 and in the updates it’s revised to R82.71. Pre-diabetes, prediabetic which is currently coded to R73.09 and is revised to R73.03 in the updates.The new code A92.5 is assigned to the Zika virus.

The ICD-10-PCS updates like the ICD-10-CM updates include many interesting changes. For example, Control is no longer for just postprocedural bleeding. The new definition is “Stopping, or attempting to stop, postprocedural or other acute bleeding.” Zooplastic Tissue has been added as a device in table 021. Bifurcation has been added as a qualifier in the Heart and Great Vessels, Upper Arteries, and Lower Arteries.

These are just a few of over 6,000 code changes. Consider listening to AHIMA’s code update training webinars to get prepared for the new changes on the code horizon. You can access these at

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FY 2017 ICD-10 files have been posted. The 2017 ICD-10-CM files contain information on the ICD-10-CM updates for FY 2017. These 2017 ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes are to be used for discharges occurring from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 and for patient encounters occurring from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017. The FY 2017 General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) files will be posted in August 2016. Updated ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting will be forthcoming.

Relevant links on the CMS website include:

Gina Sanvik, MS, RHIA, AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer, is director, coding and data standards, HIM practice excellence at AHIMA. In her role she provides technical expertise for the creation and review of AHIMA’s coding-related products such as webinars, Practice Briefs, educational courses, and articles. She also works with the AHIMA coding service product AHIMA CheckPoint™: Code-Check.






  1. Would love to attend course of
    New codes!

    Post a Reply
  2. Hi Janis, Here’s a link of the code update webinars that AHIMA offers.

    There are options of CM, PCS, CM/PCS and many specialty webinars.


    Post a Reply

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