Effective Date for COVID-19 ICD-10-CM Code Moved to April 1

Effective Date for COVID-19 ICD-10-CM Code Moved to April 1

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that due to the “urgent need to capture the reporting of [COVID-19] in our nation’s claims and surveillance data,” the agency has changed the effective date of new diagnosis code U07.1, COVID-19, from Oct. 1, to April 1, 2020.

According to the CDC, “this off-cycle update is unprecedented and is an exception to the code set updating process established under HIPAA,” citing sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act.

During the March 18 ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting when the new implementation date of April 1 was announced, Sue Bowman, AHIMA’s senior director, coding policy and compliance, thanked the CDC for expediting the implementation of the new code for COVID-19 and acknowledged the work involved in making this change happen.

ICD-10-CM interim coding guidance can be found here.

COVID-19 Resources from AHIMA and the Journal

AHIMA’s COVID-19 resource page is designed to keep HIM professionals updated on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, including information from public health organizations, news regarding AHIMA’s live and virtual events, and HIM best practices. Click here to access the page.


Image credit: NIAID-RML, https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/49534865371/in/album-72157712914621487 .

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  1. Unless i missed it despite my search, are we going to code Z03.818 as a secondary code when it was ruled out in an inpatient encounter where it does not qualify as the principal diagnosis? I know that there is an edit that it is to be used only as principal but i was thinking there might be an exemption to the rule of this pandemic.
    Will this be the falling under the suggestion of “creating a facility specific guideline for Covid 19? I have not heard or seen any new updates even from AHA, unless i really am missing something.

  2. The CDC ICD-10-CM Official Coding Guidelines Supplement documents to use code Z03.818 for ruled out COVID-19 cases. How would this code be assigned in the inpatient setting? Are we to list this code as a secondary diagnosis?

    1. We are wondering the same thing. We are getting an edit in 3M that the Z03.818 would be used for a principle diagnosis only. This code would not meet criteria for the inpatient admit. Per coding guidelines 4/1/2020 would it be more appropriate to assign Z20.828 on inpatient accounts where COVID is ruled out?
      Guideline d. Exposure to COVID-19: For cases where there is an actual exposure to someone who is confirmed or suspected (not
      ruled out) to have COVID-19, and the exposed individual either tests negative or the test
      results are unknown, assign code Z20.828, Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other
      viral communicable diseases. If the exposed individual tests positive for the COVID-19 virus,
      see guideline a).

      1. Has anyone received feedback regarding this thread. We are encountering the same issue. The COVID-19 addendum does not address the Coding guideline in place that states Z03 is to only be used as a first listed diagnosis.

        1. I would love to know this answer as well. I have the same question.

  3. I would love to sign up
    For emails / catalogs/

    1. I would love the answer to this question also.

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