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New ICD-10-CM code for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), April 1, 2020

Effective: March 18, 2020

On March 11, 2020 the Novel Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. On March 13, 2020 a national emergency was declared in the United States concerning the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Given these developments, and the urgent need to capture the reporting of this condition in our nation’s claims and surveillance data, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), under the National Emergencies Act Section 201 and 301, is announcing a change in the effective date of new diagnosis code U07.1, COVID-19, from October 1, 2020 to April 1, 2020. This off-cycle update is unprecedented and is an exception to the code set updating process established under HIPAA.

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: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus