2021 ICD-10 Changes Are Coming

ICD-10 Changes Are Coming October 1st

Much has been made about how the specificity of ICD-10 has led to some wonderfully odd codes.  October 2020, for example, introduced us to these treasures:

V00.031A – Pedestrian on foot injured in collision with rider of standing electric scooter, initial encounter

Y92.002 – Bathroom of unspecified non-institutional (private) residence as the place of occurrence of the external cause

The updates on deck for October 2021 have officially been released and while descriptions for codes related to contact with a Portuguese Man-o-War have been updated, the bulk of the changes are less interesting.

Download our Helpful Guide to the Changes

Before we discuss those changes, remember that ICD-10 offers us greater specificity than ICD-9 did and, in turn, allows health care systems to better track what conditions are being managed, how diseases interrelate, etc.  With that specificity comes many more available codes.  As an example, there were around 13,000 ICD-9 codes in 2015 and, at the time of ICD-10 implementation, there were around 68,000 codes in that set.  With this year’s changes we’ll be just shy of 72,750.

Each year a review panel meets multiple times to review stakeholder feedback about codes that should be added, removed, or edited and ultimately decides on the changes to be implemented on October 1 of that year.  You’ll remember recent history:


Key Changes for Eye Care


new codes for glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy


new codes for degenerative myopia and low vision


new eyelid-related codes including the long-awaited ability to represent MGD


new orbital fracture and failed vision screening codes


new codes for corneal dystrophies, corneal transplants, headaches, and saccades

The impact to eye care from the changes to take effect on October 1, 2021 should be limited to a few areas:

  • Codes in the M35 family currently described as “Sicca syndrome” will see their descriptions modified to “Sjogren syndrome”
  • Several codes will be added to that same M35 family to better account for conditions that accompany Sjogren’s syndrome
  • A code will be added to document a patient’s status as post-COVID-19

RevolutionEHR will be updated with the ICD-10 on October 1st, 2021 to provide a seamless transition for our customers.  We’ve also compiled a guide of the eye-specific changes taking effect this year to give you a quick resource to reference in your preparation. We hope you find this preview helpful as you prepare for the changes this fall.

Download the guide containing a list of eye-specific changes here.

RevolutionEHR is committed to staying on top of eye care industry updates on behalf of our customers. If you’re interested in partnering with us for EHR software and practice solutions, contact us at sales@revolutionehr.com or 877-738-3471 x1 or explore our solutions on our website.