I was talking with some experienced coders over the weekend and was surprised to find that while most of them were aware that the ICD guidelines are updated annually, they were not aware that the changes are almost always released after the new year's books are published (regardless of the publisher you choose). Thus, the newest guidelines are not in the published books they purchased. With the code-freeze that has been in place the last few years, few coders have purchased a “new” ICD-9-CM or ICD-10-CM book each year nor have they gone out to the CDC's website to download the newest version of the guidelines.
ICD-10-CM has seen the most significant updates as further clarifications are being made as we learn the new code set and questions arise.
The 2015 release of the guidelines saw changes to several key areas:
-Postprocedural infection and postprocedural septic shock
-Coding of Pathologic Fractures
-Injuries (Specifically 7th Character Extenders)
-External Cause Codes
To look at the specific 2015 changes:
The 2016 guidelines are also available on the CDC website. However, there are not currently any significant changes to the guidelines, index, or tabular listed.
To look at the specific 2016 changes: