ICD-10-CM updates for 2021, effective Oct. 1, 2020

Insight Article - September 30, 2020

Coding & Documentation

Veronica Bradley CPC, CPMA
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) have published a list of proposed ICD-10-CM codes, effective Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021, including 490 code additions, 47 revisions and 58 deletions. Among those major updates:
  • 128 additions to Chapter 19: Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00-T88) specifies fentanyl and tramadol and other synthetic narcotics.
  • 125 additions to Chapter 20: External causes of morbidity (V00-Y99), now specifies accidental collisions involving electric scooters and other nonmotor vehicle accidents.
  • 57 musculoskeletal codes include laterality and specificity, especially codes involved with joint derangements (M24.-)
  • 21 codes to describe withdrawal from substances including alcohol (F10), cocaine and opioids (F19).
  • 18 codes further detailing sickle cell anemia. New codes include:
    • D57.213 (sickle-cell/Hb-C disease with cerebral vascular involvement)
    • D57.431 (sickle-cell thalassemia beta zero with acute chest syndrome) specify complications related to the condition.
  • Three codes representing chronic kidney disease (CKD), stage 3 further broken down into sub-stages: 
    • N18.30 (CKD, stage 3 unspecified)            
    • N18.31 (CKD, stage 3a)  
    • N18.32 (CKD, stage 3b)
  • Deleted codes include:
    • Q51.20 — other doubling of uterus, unspecified
    • T40.4X — poisoning, underdosing, and adverse effects of other synthetic narcotics
  • Revisions apply to codes:
    • Z68 — Body mass index (BMI)
    • Z88 — Allergy status codes
  • There is a new Chapter 22: Codes for Special Purposes (U00-U85) with two codes: U07.0 (vaping-related disorder) and U07.1 (COVID-19).
Download our detailed list of revisions, additions and deletions
Click here for the full, 126-page ICD-10-CM guidelines for FY 2021

About the Author

Veronica Bradley
Veronica Bradley CPC, CPMA
Senior Industry Advisor MGMA Englewood, CO

Veronica Bradley, CPC, CPMA, is a Senior Industry Advisor with MGMA and is CPC and CPMA certified. She has over 20 years’ experience in medical coding and auditing in various specialties. She is also well-versed hierarchical condition category and risk adjustment coding. Other areas of expertise include evaluation and management, procedural coding, Medicare reimbursement, and other critical factors in coding and auditing. Veronica has worked in private practice, group practices, academic school of medicine and hospitals. She focuses on educating based coding guidelines and code capture accuracy for all medical practice staff and believes coders must build rapport with healthcare providers to ensure healthy communication as necessary in the charge capture process.

Veronica received a bachelor’s degree from Regis University in Denver, Colorado in Health Information Management with a minor in Healthcare Administration. In her free time, Veronica appreciates spending time with her family enjoying the beautiful Colorado scenery.


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