Friday, September 25, 2020

2021 ICD-10 Updates


Effective Dates

The 2021 ICD-10-CM files below contain information on the ICD-10-CM updates for FY 2021. These 2021 ICD-10-CM codes are to be used for discharges occurring from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021 and for patient encounters occurring from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021.


2021 Coding Guidelines (PDF)

2021 POA Exempt Codes (ZIP)

2021 Code Descriptions in Tabular Order (ZIP)

2021 Addendum (ZIP)

2021 Code Tables and Index (ZIP)

2021 Conversion Table (ZIP)

Overview of Changes

The final update includes hundreds of new ICD-10-CM codes including (but not limited to):

  • 128 additions to Chapter 19: Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes for adverse effects and poisoning by fentanyl and tramadol as well as other synthetic narcotics.
  • 125 additions to Chapter 20: External causes of morbidity, including more specific codes for collisions involving electric scooters and other nonmotor vehicle accidents.
  • 57 musculoskeletal codes, including several in category M24.- (other specific joint derangements) for other articular cartilage disorders, disorders of ligament, pathological dislocation, recurrent dislocation, contracture, and ankylosis.
  • 21 codes to describe withdrawal from substances including alcohol, cocaine, and opioids.
  • 18 detailed codes for sickle cell anemia. New codes such as D57.213 (sickle-cell/Hb-C disease with cerebral vascular involvement) and D57.431 (sickle-cell thalassemia beta zero with acute chest syndrome) specify complications related to the condition.
  • Three codes to capture stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) in two new sub-stages. 
  • The new Chapter 22: Codes for Special Purposes (U00-U85) so far includes just two codes: U07.0 (vaping-related disorder) and U07.1 (COVID-19), which took effect in the early part of this year.
  • The final update deletes code Q51.20 (other doubling of uterus, unspecified) and all codes within subcategory T40.4X- (poisoning by adverse effect of and underdosing of other synthetic narcotics), without code replacements.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Incorrect Acute Stroke Diagnosis Codes Submitted by Traditional Medicare Providers Resulted in Millions of Dollars in Increased Payments to Medicare Advantage Organizations


Why OIG Did This Audit

This audit involved individuals eligible for Medicare who were covered under traditional Medicare in one year but chose to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) the following year (transferred enrollees). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) maps certain diagnosis codes into Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs). For transferred enrollees who, while covered under traditional Medicare, receive a diagnosis that maps to an HCC, CMS makes higher payments to MA organizations for the following year.

Through data mining and discussions with medical professionals, we have identified several diagnosis codes that were at high risk of being miscoded and resulting in inaccurate payments. For this audit, we focused only on selected acute stroke diagnosis codes (which map to the Ischemic or Unspecified Stroke HCC) that were reported on one physician's claim without being reported on a corresponding inpatient claim.

Our objective was to determine whether selected acute stroke diagnosis codes submitted by physicians under traditional Medicare that CMS later used to make payments to MA organizations on behalf of transferred enrollees complied with Federal requirements.

How OIG Did This Audit

We reviewed 582 of 8,437 transferred enrollees (that we selected with a stratified random sample) who received one instance of a high-risk acute stroke diagnosis code during 2014 or 2015. We had reviews performed to determine whether the medical records supported the submitted diagnosis codes. We relied on these reviews as the basis for our conclusions.

What OIG Found

Almost all of the selected acute stroke diagnosis codes that physicians submitted to CMS under traditional Medicare and that CMS later used to make payments to MA organizations for 2015 or 2016 on behalf of the 582 transferred enrollees did not comply with Federal requirements. For 580 of the transferred enrollees, the medical records did not support the acute stroke diagnosis codes. Thus, the Ischemic or Unspecified Stroke HCCs were not validated.

These errors originated from physicians submitting incorrect acute stroke diagnosis codes on claims billed under traditional Medicare. However, these errors were unnoticed and caused inaccurate payments in MA because CMS did not have policies and procedures to (1) identify beneficiaries who transferred from traditional Medicare to MA, and (2) evaluate whether the acute stroke diagnosis codes submitted under traditional Medicare on their behalf complied with Federal requirements. As a result, we estimated that CMS made inaccurate payments of just over $14.4 million to MA organizations.

What OIG Recommends and CMS Comments

We recommend that CMS (1) educate physicians on how to correctly submit acute stroke diagnosis codes and how these diagnosis codes may impact the MA program, and (2) develop and implement policies and procedures to identify beneficiaries transferring from traditional Medicare to MA and evaluate whether the acute stroke diagnosis codes submitted under traditional Medicare comply with Federal requirements.

CMS concurred with our recommendations and described actions that it had taken or planned to take to address them. Specifically, CMS stated that it would continue to educate physicians on how to correctly submit acute stroke diagnosis codes, including updated information on how these codes may impact the MA program. CMS also stated that although our findings account for less than 0.5 percent of all transferred enrollees, it would review its existing policies and procedures to evaluate whether any further clarification is needed with regards to acute stroke diagnoses.

Filed under: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Billions in Estimated Medicare Advantage Payments From Diagnoses Reported Only on Health Risk Assessments Raise Concerns


Key Takeaways:

Billions in estimated risk-adjusted payments supported solely though HRA’s raise concerns about the completeness of payment data, validity of diagnoses on HRA’s and quality of care coordination for beneficiaries.

OIG findings highlight concerns about the extent to which MAOs are using HRAs to improve care and health outcomes, as intended, and about the sufficiency of the oversight by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

From an analysis of 2016 MA encounter data, the OIG found that:

Diagnoses that MAOs reported only on HRAs, and on no other encounter records, resulted in an estimated $2.6 billion in risk-adjusted payments for 2017.

In-home HRAs generated 80 percent of these estimated payments. Most in-home HRAs were conducted by companies that partner with or are hired by MAOs to conduct these assessments—and therefore are not likely conducted by the beneficiary’s own primary care provider.

Twenty MAOs generated millions in payments from in-home HRAs for beneficiaries for whom there was not a single record of any other service being provided in 2016.

Read the full report here