DSM-5 & ICD-10 Transition coming up - October 1, 2015 - Are You Ready?

September 12, 2015


As you may know, on October 1st, all HIPAA-covered practices must switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 when coding diagnoses. ICD-10, released under the supervision of the World Health Organization in 1994, provided a number of changes to the previous system, perhaps most notably the increase from 14,000 to 69,000 for increased specificity. While many countries have already completed the conversion in recent years, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) set the final compliance date to October of 2015 to ease the transition process, and the day is fast approaching!

For psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, the conversion coincides with the utilization of DSM-5 for psychiatrists and clinicians. DSM-5, published in 2013, provided comprehensive updates to many conditions outlined in the previous edition, including increased focus on cultural perspectives, developmental trajectory, and neuroscience. For example, DSM-IV included only one code for the eating disorder anorexia nervosa (ICD-9 code 307.1). With increased understanding of the symptoms of the condition, DSM-5 divided its diagnosis into two types, restricting (ICD-10 code F50.1) and binge-eating/purging (ICD-10 code F50.02).

While many changes involve the addition of diagnoses based on new research, others collapsed subsets into a single condition. For example, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder (ICD-9 codes 299.10 and 299.80) have been combined with autistic disorder to define Autism Spectrum Disorder (ICD-10 code F84.0) in DSM-5.

While the CMS has announced a grace period following the deadline in case of mistakes, being prepared for the changes is paramount for continuing an effective practice. The CMS suggests different types of training for various mental health professionals to ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Documentation training - staff members responsible for filing patient records.
  2. Coding training - those who frequently work with codes.
  3. Overview training - all members of a practice responsible for administrative duties.

The CMS has also provided a wealth of resources for providers found on the dedicated website www.roadto10.org. In addition, Therasoft provides the DSM Lookup Tool, a completely free database for psychiatrists and mental health professionals to easily identify ICD-10 codes. Simply search using ICD-9 codes or condition names, and corresponding entries based on DSM-5 will appear.

As you can see, by laying the proper groundwork, October 1st will be yet another day for your practice. Though the adjustments may seem overwhelming, one’s day-to-day workflow simply will not change. A patient’s symptoms and conditions won’t differ because of a date on a calendar! Rather, the transition to ICD-10 will allow psychiatrists to provide more detailed, up-to-date information to health plans and vendors, the advantages of which will eventually pass on to both you and your patients.

Subscribe to Email Updates

New Call-to-action
Request a Therasoft demo
Websites for therapists - what you need to know to attract and manage clients online