2017 Otolaryngology Codes Changes for ICD-10 at a Glance

There are numerous ICD-10 code changes for 2017 pertinent to Otolaryngologist. The CMS has released a preliminary report with new, revised, and deleted codes, with the final version expected later this summer.

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect once the changes are implemented on October 1.

Add These Choices for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

Ten future additions to ICD-10 2017 will aid in reporting a number of hearing diagnoses with more specificity. The new codes are:

  • A11 – Conductive hearing loss, unilateral, right ear, with restricted hearing on the contralateral side
  • A12 – Conductive hearing loss, unilateral, left ear, with restricted hearing on the contralateral side
  • A21 – Sensorineural hearing loss, unilateral, right ear, with restricted hearing on the contralateral side
  • A22 – Sensorineural hearing loss, unilateral, left ear, with restricted hearing on the contralateral side
  • A31 – Mixed conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, unilateral, right ear, with restricted hearing on the contralateral side
  • A32 – Mixed conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, unilateral, left ear, with restricted hearing on the contralateral side.

 “Currently, in the 2016 edition of ICD-10, there are only options for unilateral conductive, sensorineural, or mixed conductive hearing loss with unrestricted hearing on the contralateral side,” explains Barbara J. Cobuzzi, MBA, CPC, CENTC, COC, CPC-P, CPC-I, CPCO, vice president at Stark Coding & Consulting, LLC, in Shrewsbury, N.J. “Unlisted hearing loss codes have been needed to define hearing loss on both sides. With this change in 2017, there will be codes for patients with hearing loss on both sides.”

Update: As per the American Academy of Otolaryngology, there are two types of hearing loss.

  • Conductive hearing loss effects what is basically a mechanical problem with sound wave conduction.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss is because of a problem generating or transmitting nerve impulses from the inner ear to the brain.

When a patient has a grouping of these two types of hearing loss, it’s known as “mixed.”

Another condition affecting a patient’s hearing is tinnitus – the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, chirping, whistling, clicking, or other noises when no external sound is present. In pulsatile tinnitus, the patient hears a noise resembling his heartbeat in his ear. It can be caused by noise from blood vessels close to the inner ear.

ICD-10 2017 will introduce four new diagnoses specific to pulsatile tinnitus:

  • A1 – Pulsatile tinnitus, right ear
  • A2 – Pulsatile tinnitus, left ear
  • A3 – Pulsatile tinnitus, bilateral
  • A9 – Pulsatile tinnitus, unspecified ear

For more one 2017 ICD-10-coding updates for Otolaryngology, join renowned expert Barbara J. Cobuzzi, in a Live Conference on Tue, Sep 27, 2016. This session will cover the following topics:

  • ICD-10 coding changes affecting Otolaryngology for 2017, going into effect on 10/1/2016
  • Coding challenges in 2016 identified in Otolaryngology audits over the past year
  • ICD-10 codes for difficult to find codes
  • Review of key ICD-10 rules

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