With experts constantly discovering and reclassifying mental illnesses, it can be hard to keep up with so many ICD-10 diagnoses and which one would best fit with a patient’s documentation. Nowhere is this more apparent than with common disorders such as depression and anxiety. Anxiety officially describes the “anticipation of a future threat, real or imagined,” but this nebulous definition can make it difficult to code properly.

According to the DSM-5, the latest issue of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the broad category of anxiety is broken into three separate categories:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders
  • Trauma & Stress-Related Disorders

Now that widely-known disorders such as OCD and PTSD are in their own sections, the category of Anxiety Disorders (which includes everything from Separation Anxiety Disorder to Agoraphobia to Panic Disorder) is even harder to classify. Even more difficult is the fact that many people experience more than one disorder at a time, making it incredibly difficult to assign the proper ICD-10 codes and nothing more or less.

If you are familiar with previous DSM versions, it is even more important to keep up with what has changed in the latest edition. For example, Panic Disorder (F41.0) and Agoraphobia (F40.0x) used to be connected, but are now individual codes due to the number of people who experience one without the other. However, these two diagnoses often still go hand in hand, leading to the creation of a combined code for Agoraphobia With Panic Disorder (F40.01).

Although this level of specificity can be confusing at first, the increased number of codes means that you will be more likely to assign a particular code instead of defaulting to an unspecified one. If your practice or facility frequently codes anxiety disorders, be sure to review both the DSM-5 and the latest ICD-10 updates to ensure that you are coding accurately and receiving the proper reimbursement.