By Teri Thurston, Billing & Coding Advisor, PECAA
Fall is here! Personally, this is one of my favorite seasons. Here in the Pacific Northwest the leaves are beginning to change and the weather is cooler. In my house we’re all settling into the new routines of being back in school. There are football games, cross country meets, lots of pumpkin spice lattes and the making of holiday plans as the year begins to wind down.
This time of year also brings a season of change in the optometric billing and coding world. The last quarter of each year is when CMS confirms the Final Rule, insurance payers introduce their new insurance plans and adjust existing plans. Medicare releases revised fee schedules and policy revisions. And, as with every October 1st since 2015, the new ICD-10-CM codes became effective for the 2018/2019 year. Medicare began accepting the new codes on October 1st, most other payers will begin accepting the new codes as of January 1, 2019.
The total number of code changes for this year equal 473, with 279 being new codes, 143 revised codes and 51 deactivated codes. Raising the total number of codes in ICD-10-CM code set to 71,932, for those of you keeping track. Specific to eye care this year however, there are 88 new code additions, 21 deletions and 9 revisions. These code changes add greater specificity to conditions of the eyelid and create coding solutions where there has been a deficit.
Click here to read about the new codes and changes.