Fourteen mental health ICD-10-CM codes changing on Oct. 1

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ends code freeze to make changes to thousands of codes.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are planning to change thousands of new ICD-10-CM codes, including 14 codes related to mental health, on Oct. 1, 2016. While fiscal year code changes are not uncommon due to a continued need for new or revised codes, this year’s significant update is due in large part to a code freeze that has been in effect for several years.

Most of the changes to the mental health codes relate to new or additional specifiers, which occur after the decimal point of the parent code. For example, obsessive-compulsive disorder is changing from F42 to F42.2. This new specification allows for more accurate diagnostic recording, which is of interest to third-party payers and will be important for psychologists to include in order to receive reimbursement. Other codes, such as binge-eating disorder, include additional specifications as they go from including one decimal point (i.e., F50.8) to two (F50.81).

Two codes — excoriation (skin-picking) disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder — are changing from L and N codes respectively to F codes. This is good news for psychologists, as billing under L or N codes (physical health disorders chapters in ICD-10-CM) could lead to denials — something much less likely to happen when billing with an F code (mental health chapter).

The chart below lists the original and new codes for the mental health disorders affected. Users of DSM-5 may wish to download the September 2016 coding update from the American Psychiatric Association (PDF, 4.22MB). Chrome or Firefox are recommended for this download.

Disorder Original Code
(Valid until Sept. 30, 2016)
New Code
(Effective Oct. 1, 2016)
Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder F50.8 F50.89
Binge-eating disorder F50.8 F50.81
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder F34.8 F34.81
Excoriation (skin-picking) disorder L98.1 F42.4
Gender dysphoria in adolescents and adults F64.1 F64.0
Hoarding disorder F42 F42.3
Obsessive-compulsive disorder F42 F42.2
Other specified depressive disorder F32.8 F32.89
Other specified feeding or eating disorder F50.8 F50.89
Other specified obsessive-compulsive/related disorder F42 F42.8
Pica, in adults F50.8 F50.89
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder N94.3 F32.81
Social (pragmatic) communication disorder F80.89 F80.82
Unspecified obsessive-compulsive/related disorder F42 F42.9