Effective: February 20, 2020
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) disease outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
As a result of the declaration, the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHOFIC) Network Classification and Statistics Advisory Committee (CSAC) convened an emergency meeting on January 31, 2020 to discuss the creation of a specific code for this new coronavirus. A new International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) emergency code (U07.1, 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease) has been established by WHO.
At that time, the WHO Classification Team had noted that the virus name ‘2019-nCoV’ was temporary and is likely to change (to be independent of date and virus family, and for consistency with international virus taxonomy). Note: On February 11, 2020 the WHO announced the official name of the virus: COVID-19.
Consistent with this WHO update to the ICD-10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (CDC/NCHS) will implement a new diagnosis code into the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) for reporting, effective with the next update, October 1, 2020.
Full addenda information regarding the new code and the final title will be presented at the March 2020 ICD10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting. ICD-10-CM interim coding guidance can be found at: (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd10cm.htm)
For more information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit the CDC and WHO websites, respectively:
Effective: February 20, 2020
For a pneumonia case confirmed as due to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), assign codes J12.89, Other viral pneumonia, and B97.29, Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.
For a patient with acute bronchitis confirmed as due to COVID-19, assign codes J20.8, Acute bronchitis due to other specified organisms, and B97.29, Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere. Bronchitis not otherwise specified (NOS) due to the COVID-19 should be coded using code J40, Bronchitis, not specified as acute or chronic; along with code B97.29, Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.
Lower Respiratory Infection
If the COVID-19 is documented as being associated with a lower respiratory infection, not otherwise specified (NOS), or an acute respiratory infection, NOS, this should be assigned with code J22, Unspecified acute lower respiratory infection, with code B97.29, Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere. If the COVID-19 is documented as being associated with a respiratory infection, NOS, it would be appropriate to assign code J98.8, Other specified respiratory disorders, with code B97.29, Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) may develop in with the COVID-19, according to the Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html
Cases with ARDS due to COVID-19 should be assigned the codes J80, Acute respiratory distress syndrome, and B97.29, Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.
Exposure to COVID-19
For cases where there is a concern about possible exposure to COVID-19, but this is ruled out after evaluation, it would be appropriate to assign the code Z03.818, Encounter for observation for suspected exposure to other biological agents ruled out.
For cases where there is actual exposure to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19, it would be appropriate to assign the code Z20.828, Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases.
Signs and symptoms
For patients presenting with any signs/symptoms (such as fever, etc.) and where a definitive diagnosis has not been established, assign the appropriate code(s) for each of the presenting signs and symptoms such as:
If the provider documents “suspected”, “possible” or “probable” COVID-19, do not assign code B97.29. Assign a code(s) explaining the reason for encounter (such as fever, or Z20.828).
This coding guidance has been developed by CDC and approved by the four organizations that make up the Cooperating Parties: the National Center for Health Statistics, the American Health Information Management Association, the American Hospital Association, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Reference: COVID-10 clinical presentation: