What to Know About ICD-10 Coding Changes in 2021?

If you are a private practice and working with insurance claims, you definitely have known how irritating, complicated, confusing ICD-10 codes are. Every year, ICD-10 Coding updates released by the Centers of Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) to ICD diagnosis and procedure codes remain critical for you to always keep everything handy and understand how it may affect your billing in the upcoming year.

Why ICD 10 Codes really matter?

Standardised ICD 10 diagnosis codes in the entire healthcare industry make it easy for any healthcare provider or the insurance company to easily identify a patient’s diagnosis and also essential for insurance companies to settle claims for certain treatments. Moreover, frequent updates made to these ICD-10 codes will provide researchers with greater levels of clinical details and recent improvements in treatment technology. 

So we will look into what is new with ICD-10 coding in 2021 and understand which would be the best solution to overcome the struggles that your practice has been experiencing with these ICD-10 changes.

All you need to know about changes in ICD-10 coding

The updates released by CMS to the ICD-10 will apply to all services performed between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. These are the changes that have been included in the ICD 10 coding:

  • New codes for alcohol and narcotic use disorders, vaping use disorders, accidents that happen through electric scooters, fentanyl poisoning, and COVID-19 have been released, which counts to 490 new diagnosis codes.
  • 58 codes were removed that include poisoning from synthetic narcotics, and these codes are replaced by new codes. 
  • 47 revised codes have been implemented, which include updated descriptions for adult body mass index that has Z68.X X codes and Z88.X codes for allergies.

How these changes in ICD-10 codes can impact your practice?

As said previously, ICD-10 codes are followed as standards across the healthcare industry, and not all these codes may suit your medical billing process. Moreover, you might have already be using some codes that are not in existence and whatever the claims you have submitted without having these updated codes may require a rework. 

Though we have different codes introduced for COVID-19, you may have to pay more attention towards it and carefully check whether there are any changes in the codes or the description. Keeping your ICD-10 coding database up-to-date allows you search for the changed codes instantly and use the right code during applying for claims. 


The world of insurance billing gets complicated quite often and if you stuck in it, you might have to face endless billing conversations with your insurance company, which primarily affects your fund flow, thereby down-sizing your revenue growth. Since it is vital to pay more focus towards your patients, leaving the burden of ICD-10 coding to a third-party medical billing company can be an ideal solution. 

There are many medical billing companies that assure you an excelling RCM by managing your ICD-10 coding and provide you a justified and streamlined workflow. But choosing the one that has proven experience in the industry and with the best team and customer support is very difficult to achieve. 

Get in touch with 24/7 Medical Billing Services, the leading medical billing expert with over 15 years of experience dealing with and specialized at offering RCM and ICD-10 coding services, to ease out your medical billing process.


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