Now is the Time to Get Ready for 2021 ICD-10-CM Updates

October 1, 2020, will soon be upon us – and bring with it the 2021 ICD-10-CM coding updates. There will be more than 550 coding changes including 490 code additions, 47 revisions and 58 deleted codes. Some specialties will need to closely monitor the list because of the volume of proposed revisions and additions that apply to them, including general practitioners, ophthalmology, hematology, and rheumatology.

Many additions in ophthalmology involve laterality or location definitions. Hematology will see the revision and addition of new codes for sickle-cell anemia, while rheumatology has several new codes for arthritis.

Over 50 new codes will be devoted to diagnoses involving the thorax, such as abrasions and superficial injuries. Fentanyl and tramadol poisonings account for 18 new codes each. And, if your patient is hit by or injured on an electric scooter or a ‘standing micro-mobility pedestrian conveyance,’ there will be over 100 new codes to choose from to describe the accident.

Coding changes can be overwhelming for even the most experienced health care professional. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a quick list of some of the more general codes slated to begin on October 1.

2021 ICD-10-CM coding additions include

  • D84821 Immunodeficiency due to drugs
  • D84822 Immunodeficiency due to external causes
  • D89831 Cytokine release syndrome, grade 1
  • D89832 Cytokine release syndrome, grade 2
  • D89833 Cytokine release syndrome, grade 3
  • D89834 Cytokine release syndrome, grade 4
  • D89835 Cytokine release syndrome, grade 5
  • D89839 Cytokine release syndrome, grade unspecified
  • E74810 Glucose transporter protein type 1 deficiency (Delete E748)
  • E74818 Other disorders of glucose transport
  • E74819 Disorders of glucose transport, unspecified
  • F10130 Alcohol abuse with withdrawal, uncomplicated
  • F1113   Opioid abuse with withdrawal
  • F1493   Cocaine use, unspecified with withdrawal
  • F1513   Other stimulant abuse with withdrawal
  • K2100   Gastro-esophageal reflux disease with esophagitis, without bleeding (delete K210)
  • K2101   Gastro-esophageal reflux disease with esophagitis, with bleeding
  • K5981   Ogilvie syndrome (delete K5981 for other specified functional intestinal disorders)
  • K5989   Other specified functional intestinal disorders
  • N1830   Chronic kidney disease, stage 3 unspecified (delete N183)
  • N1831   Chronic kidney disease, stage 3a
  • N1832   Chronic kidney disease, stage 3b
  • N6120   Granulomatous mastitis, unspecified breast
  • N6121   Granulomatous mastitis, right breast
  • N6122   Granulomatous mastitis, left breast
  • N6123   Granulomatous mastitis, bilateral breast
  • R510    Headache with orthostatic component, not elsewhere classified (R10 will be deleted)
  • R519    Headache, unspecified
  • R7401   Elevation of levels of liver transaminase levels (delete R740)
  • R7402   Elevation of levels of lactic acid dehydrogenase [LDH]
  • U070    Vaping-related disorder
  • U071    COVID-19

In addition to the above codes, there will be many new codes available for osteoporosis and osteochondrosis diagnoses. Find the list of official codes when they are released on the CDC or CMS websites.

Next steps:

We suggest the following next steps to ensure your organization is ready for the changes ahead:

  1. Watch for the final ruling on the proposed changes that will be posted on the CMS website.
  2. Review and update any templates providers use to help them document or determine diagnosis.
  3. Ensure that your software systems are ready: confirm new codes will be used and old codes inactivated for dates of service from October 1, 2020, onwards.
  4. Perhaps most importantly, take the time to educate providers about the new codes so they can code correctly from the beginning.


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