Part 2: New ICD-10 Codes and IPPS Changes for 2020

New ICD-10-CM Codes

In Part 1 of this 4 part series we discussed some of the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis changes. In Part 2 we present the significant ICD-10-PCS procedure code changes. Here is the breakdown:

72,184 total ICD-10-CM codes for FY2020

  • 324 changes all together (2019 had 473 changes)
  • 273 new codes (2019 had 279 new codes)
  • 21 deleted codes (2019 had 51 deleted codes)
  • 30 revised codes (2019 had 143 revised codes)

Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting ICD-10-PCS

There are several minor changes to the guidelines that include adding more descriptive terms, and adding examples​​​.  An exception was added to B3.1b Multiple Procedures in that mastectomy followed by breast reconstruction, both resection and replacement of the breast are coded separately.  Likewise, in guideline B3.9 for Excision of Graft, clarification of DIEP was added:  Replacement of breast with autologous deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap, excision of the DIEP flap is not coded separately. The seventh character qualifier value Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator Flap in the Replacement table fully specifies the site of the autograft harvest.

A brand new Section D – Radiation Therapy has been added.  This will help coders to know when to report an “Insertion” code with device value “radioactive element” in addition the modality in  the radiation therapy section, and when not to. For example, brachytherapy with implantation of a low dose rate brachytherapy source left in the body at the end of the procedure is coded to the applicable treatment site in section D, Radiation Therapy, with the modality Brachytherapy, the modality qualifier value Low Dose Rate, and the applicable isotope value and qualifier value. The implantation of the brachytherapy source is coded separately to the device value “radioactive element” in the appropriate Insertion table of the Medical and Surgical section (0). The Radiation Therapy section code identifies the specific modality and isotope of the brachytherapy, and the root operation Insertion code identifies the implantation of the brachytherapy source that remains in the body at the end of the procedure. There is an exception to this for Cesdium-131 Collagen  implant in that this procedure identifies both the implantation and brachytherapy, so only one code is needed.  There is also guidance on placing temporary applicators for delivering brachytherapy.

Guidelines for Section E – New Technology Section (X codes) was updated to state that Section X codes fully represent the specific procedure described in the code title, and do not require additional codes from other sections of ICD-10-PCS. So all the coder needs to assign is the new technology code. 

Major Changes to the ICD-10-PCS Tables

Coders will notice than there were many deleted ICD-10-PCS codes for FY2020.  This is primarily because of the removal of “Bifurcation” as a qualifier in all upper and lower artery tables.  However it remains as a choice for the coronary arteries.  That change eliminated quite a few codes. This was a troublesome area for coders as many did not know when to assign the bifurcation qualifier.

ICD-10-PCS also removed approach “external” from all breast procedures. The index has been updated to indicate that procedures performed on the skin of the breast be coded to body part “Skin, chest” and not to breast.

In the Administration Section, body part value for peripheral or central “artery” was removed, eliminating many ICD-10-PCS codes.  This was done because transfusions are done through veins, not arteries.

A device value for Internal fixation device, intramedullary limb lengthening for insertion of upper or lower bones was added. This includes the PRECICE intramedullary limb lengthening system.  This would be coded to root operation “Insertion” and not “Reposition” as the surgeon is lengthening the bone, not repositioning a fracture.

A new device for Intraluminal Device, Flow Diverter for Restriction in Upper Arteries was added for the Pipeline™ and Surpass Streamline ™ Flow Diverter devices.   The flow diverter, sometimes called a stent is designed to reliably open and provide consistent mesh density across the neck of the aneurysm to aid in aneurysm occlusion while maintaining perforator artery patency. Coders will need to be sure to research these types of devices  that the proper device value is assigned.

A new device value for Subcutaneous Defibrillator Lead in Subcutaneous Tissue and Fascia for the S-ICD ™ lead was added.  The EMBLEM S-ICD System is an innovative and truly novel ICD. Unlike traditional ICDs that require placement of at least one lead in or on the heart, the S-ICD System is implanted just under the skin and provides the patient protection from sudden cardiac arrest without invading the heart and blood vessels. It is the only fully subcutaneous (under the skin) ICD available at the current time. However coders should be on the look out for new S-ICDs.

Innominate artery, also known as the brachiocephalic artery was added as a qualifier under the Bypass root operation in the Heart and Great Vessels body system  In addition, coronary arteries were added to the “Insertion” and “Supplement” root operations.  Coders must be careful not to use “Insertion” and the coronary artery body part for PCI stent insertion. PCI angioplasties are still coded to root operation Dilation.  The root operation for “Insertion” of device in coronary artery is for s stent insertions DURING  TAVR OR VALVE REPLACEMENTS to help prevent the risk of coronary obstruction following valve insertion.  So this type of stent is not really treating a condition such as CAD, it is a preventative device at time of other surgery.  Supplement of coronary arteries is done to reinforce or augment coronary arteries, such as a stent graft placed to seal and reinforce a perforated/dissection of artery status post atherectomy.  The objective is to supplement the wall of the artery.

Coders can not code EGD with occlusion of gastric vein as “Gastric Vein” was added as body part value for procedures done via natural or artificial opening and natural or artificial opening endoscopic.

Under Performance, Circulatory a new Duration of “Intraoperative” was added so coders could code ECMO done intraoperatively.  In recent years, providers are increasingly performing short-term, percutaneous ECMO procedures in addition to open-chest ECMO. ECMO was originally only used for respiratory support, but today, ECMO is commonly used for respiratory and cardiac support.  CentralECMO cannulation involves sternotomy and direct surgical cannulation of the right atrium and aorta. This involves two open insertions; arterial and venous and provides cardiorespiratory support.

V A Peripheral ECMO cannulation involves two femoral percutaneous insertions; arterial and venous. This type of ECMO support provides respiratory and circulatory support.

V V ECMO requires two venous insertions, one in the upper veins and one in the lower veins. This provides respiratory support only.

For “Other Procedures,” a new method of “Fluorescence Guided Procedure” was added.  An example is a fluorescent label attached to a marker (e.g. a monoclonal antibody) that binds specifically and selectively to tumor cells, helping the surgeon ‘see’ the tumor and metastatic tissue in real time.  Fluorescent markers can be used with a wide range of procedures, including classic (‘open’) surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopy.

A new device for dilation of artery with sustained release drug-eluting intraluminal device was added as a New Technology X code, X27. The Eluvia and SAVAL stents are two such devices.

Another new device called a cerebral embolic filtration, single deflection  filter was added to new technology table X2A.  One example is the Embrella Embolic Deflector (Embrella Cardiovascular Inc, Wayne, Pa) which was designed to meet the need for embolic protection during procedures on the heart or involving the passage of catheters over the aortic arch.  Emboli may arise from manipulation of the heart valves or atria  and aorta and this device deflects them. There are several types of aortic arch filters that the coder must become familiar with. They include:  a single filter but not a deflection filter (Embol-X)

Two single deflection filters called Embrella, TriGuard to the right. (Device 2 – Cerebral Embolic Filtration, Single Deflection Filter) and a third one called Sentinel which is a dual filter (Device 1 – Cerebral Embolic Filtration, Dual Filter)

In Part 3, the pertinent IPPS changes will be presented.  In the final Part 4, New Technologies (X codes)  and payment impacts will be presented and discussed in detail.


The information contained in this coding advice is valid at the time of posting. Viewers are encouraged to research subsequent official guidance in the areas associated with the topic as they can change rapidly.

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