CDC Publishes Final COVID-19 ICD-10-CM Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the final guidelines for the new diagnosis code U07.1, COVID-19, effective April 1 to September 30, 2020.

The off-cycle update of ICD-10-CM is an unprecedented exception to the code set updating process established under HIPAA.

The final guidelines are for coding confirmed diagnoses of the novel coronavirus through a positive test result confirmed by the CDC or a presumed positive test result documented at the local or state level, though the latter no longer requires CDC confirmation. Additional guidance for “suspected,” “possible,” “probable,” or “inconclusive” COVID19 is provided in the final guidelines.

During the March 18 ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting when the new implementation date of April 1 was announced, Sue Bowman, AHIMA’s senior director, coding policy and compliance, thanked the CDC for expediting the implementation of the new code for COVID-19 and acknowledged the work involved in making this change happen.

COVID-19 has swept across the globe, infecting more than 850,000 and resulting in 42,000 deaths in more than 200 countries. The United States, particularly New York City, is the current global epicenter of the pandemic. The virus’ spread had severely impacted the global economy, and in several countries, overwhelmed hospitals and health systems.

Bookmark AHIMA’s COVID-19 Resources
  • Journal of AHIMA—COVID-19. An authoritative source for healthcare-relevant news and perspectives on the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here.
  • COVID-19 Index. Continuously updated with resources, AHIMA news, and navigable links to public health and professional organizations. Click here.
  • AHIMA Engage—COVID-19 Community. A digital networking page to exchange ideas, information, and perspectives. Click here.

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