With the 2018 fiscal year fast approaching, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has gone ahead and released the ICD-10-PCS updates for the coming season. These updates will go into effect on October 1st, 2017 and will remain the national standard through September 30th, 2018.

What Will Change In The Latest Iteration

Through this update, the ICD-10-PCS system will gain a full 3,562 new codes, bringing the total to a whopping 78,705 (and positively dwarfing the mere 3,824 procedural codes used in ICD-9). In addition, these ICD-10-PCS updates will include 1,821 revised codes and 646 dropped codes.

As one might guess, many of these new designations will fall into the Medical & Surgical section, which comprises over 68,000 of the total code count. The main change in this section will involve streamlining body part values to make them more clear, though the update will also add endoscopic approaches to various new tables in order to make them more easily accessible.

Why These ICD-10-PCS Updates Are Important

Throughout the years, ICD-10-PCS has added countless new codes with each new update. For ages, providers and coders alike have had to keep on their toes in order to stay up-to-date. As expected, these coming ICD-10-PCS updates will be no different. In order to ensure proper billing from both patients and insurance companies, all medical professionals must study these codes so that they can provide the proper documentation and code for the correct procedures.

How You And Your Coworkers Can Prepare

If you or your practice are still getting used to using something other than ICD-9, fear not. The General Equivalence Mappings for these ICD-10-PCS updates will come out in August of this year, giving physicians and coders the tools they need to find the proper updated code.

For more information on learning ICD-10 and other medical coding subjects, check out the Medical Management Institute’s ever-expanding list of CEU courses.