Key ICD-10 Changes That Impact Pathology/Lab Coding in 2017

Posted on 10 Feb, 2017 |comments_icon 4|By Chris Boucher

Have you updated your reporting of malignant carcinoid tumors, viral hepatitis, GIST or ovarian cyst coding?

You haven’t had to deal with annual ICD-10-CM updates until Oct. 1, 2016. Now that the changes are effective, ensure your lab is on top of the latest changes.

Take a look at how the first annual update in the ICD-10 Manual affects your pathology/lab coding and reimbursement. Remember that reimbursement can be affected if payers update their policies to accommodate the changes and your practice does not.

Update Your Malignant Carcinoid Tumors Codes

ICD-10 updates some of the site-specific malignant carcinoid tumors by changing the code definitions from ‘NOS’ (“not otherwise specified,”) to “unspecified”: C7A.094, C7A.095, and C7A.096. These revised diagnosis codes — even without specific documentation regarding the site of the tumor — will allow providers to use a diagnosis that matches their documentation.

Note These Revisions: The latest ICD-10 Code set also revises descriptors for over 50 codes related to Hodgkin’s lymphoma by deleting the word ‘classical’ from the definitions.

Streamline Your Viral Hepatitis Coding

Effective Oct.1, you no longer can report diagnosis codes for viral hepatitis carrier status, as ICD-10 deletes those codes and consolidates that condition into the codes for chronic viral hepatitis.

 Note These Prostate Dx Changes

ICD-10-CM 2017 deletes existing prostate dysplasia code – N42.3 – and replaces it with the more specific codes: N42.30, N42.31, N42.32, and N42.39. This expansion would help in tracking the types of dysplasia of the prostrate allowing more specific tracking of types/cause/severity/progression and evolving treatment guideline limitations.

Use New Codes for GIST

Prior to Oct. 1, if your pathologist diagnosed a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), you used a non-specific ICD-10 code for a malignant or uncertain behavior by tumor site – for instance C17. All that changes now as you’ll use the following codes: C49.AO, C49.A1, C49.A2, C49.A3, C49.A4, C49.A5, and C49.A9.

Update Your Ovarian Cyst Coding

You now have new ICD-10-CM codes to use when your pathologist diagnoses an ovarian cyst. Ensure you no longer use these codes: N83.0, N83.1, N83.20, and N83.29. Use a more specific code that includes an additional (fifth or sixth) digit to indicate laterality of the ovarian cyst.

Try this: For more accurate coding, pathologists should procure details from the surgeon as to whether the cystic ovary is from the right or left side.

Bottom line: Ensure you report an ICD-10 code based on the most specific diagnosis available to you. According to ICD-10 coding guidelines, do not code diagnoses documented as ‘probable’, ‘questionable’, ‘rule out’ or other similar terms pointing to uncertainty.

Find more details on ICD-10 code updates at 2017 ICD-10-CM and GEMs


Chris Boucher

Chris Boucher has nearly 10 years of experience writing various newsletters and other products for The Coding Institute. His blog will cover several areas of coding and compliance, including CPT® coding, modifiers, HIPAA compliance and ICD-10 coding.

More from this author

View More

4 thoughts on “Key ICD-10 Changes That Impact Pathology/Lab Coding in 2017

  1. I have to show my passion for your kind-heartedness supporting those who really want help on the topic. Your real commitment to getting the solution around has been particularly insightful and has continually helped associates just like me to attain their aims. This useful report can mean a whole lot to me and much more to my mates. Warm regards; from all of us.

  2. A lot of thanks for all your work on this website. My mum delights in making time for internet research and it’s really simple to grasp why. We notice all about the compelling way you convey insightful tactics by means of this web site and even improve participation from people about this area of interest then our simple princess is studying a great deal. Enjoy the rest of the year. You are always doing a stunning job.

  3. I want to show some thanks to you for bailing me out of this challenge. Just after checking through the internet and finding proposals which were not pleasant, I figured my entire life was well over. Living devoid of the answers to the issues you’ve resolved all through your review is a serious case, and the ones which might have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t encountered the website. The know-how and kindness in taking care of all areas was helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I can also at this time look forward to my future. Thank you very much for this high quality and results-oriented guide. I will not be reluctant to refer your web site to anybody who desires care about this situation.

  4. I really wanted to make a brief note to be able to say thanks to you for the precious pointers you are placing here. My particularly long internet investigation has at the end been recognized with incredibly good tips to talk about with my relatives. I ‘d point out that most of us website visitors are very endowed to dwell in a notable website with very many wonderful individuals with good secrets. I feel pretty happy to have discovered your entire website page and look forward to tons of more amazing minutes reading here. Thank you once again for everything.

Leave a Reply

Newsletter Signup