Update: Coding Guidelines For COVID-19 Effective April 1
The 2020 Respiratory Diagnoses Hot Topics Webinar provides an overview of the Official Coding and Reporting Guidelines applicable for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) infections effective April 1, as well as instructions on how to assign codes for given scenarios involving patient encounters related to COVID-19 infection. See more here.
The United States will begin using code U07.1 COVID-19 as of April 1 – rather than the usual effective date for new codes of October 1. This new code is being fast-tracked to allow for the urgent need of immediate data collection. Interim coding guidelines from the CDC are still to be used between now and the effective date (CDC, 2020). Review our previous article, “Coding for Coronavirus Outbreak: Interim Guidance from the CDC,” for additional information about code U07.1. CDC UPDATE 3/18/2020: “New ICD-10-CM code for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), April 1, 2020.”
The COVID-19 code and April 1 effective date was announced March 18 at the Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting by Donna Pickett, National Center for Health Statistics, Center for Disease Control. The meeting information included the code and notes. An addendum with the most up-to-date information will be posted on the CMS site soon, hopefully by Friday March 20.
At this time, we have the following information about the code and instructions. It was noted that U07.1 is not intended to be a secondary diagnosis code. Additional guidance is being developed and will be accessible as available. As noted, the addendum to the meeting minutes will include any updated information.