Coding for COVID-19

For an overview of how to navigate the new COVID-19 coding guidance, going into effect on April 1, 2020

Catherine O'Leary

Catherine O'Leary

Managing Director, Health & Govt. Solutions, KPMG US

+1 212-954-6384

As healthcare organizations continue to treat patients with known or suspected COVID-19, it is critical to understand the newly established coding guidelines just announced by the CDC. Beginning on April 1, 2020, all COVID-19-related diagnoses should be coded as U07.1 COVID-19. Using a specialized code for COVID-19 cases will facilitate better clinical decision making, disease surveillance, population health management, and research, among other imperatives.

As detailed in this issue brief, it is critical to note that there are exceptions to this coding guidance:

  • If a discharge occurred prior to April 1, the supplemental ICD-10-CM coding guidance should still be used.
  • If a patient has COVID-19 signs and symptoms, but no definitive diagnosis, there is a series of codes related to presenting symptoms.
  • Although the new code should be used upon discharge for most confirmed COVID-19-related cases on or after April 1, it should not be used for obstetrics and newborn cases.

At this time, KPMG’s Clinical Documentation Integrity team is committed to helping its healthcare clients navigate the complexities of this code-updating process. To that end, please click here to access the issue brief, Coding for COVID-19.


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