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Industry News: DSM-IV, DSM-5, ICD-9, ICD-10 ... Confused?

We often hear our users ask, "Should we be using DSM-IV or DSM-5 codes, and what is the difference between Confused about ICD-10DSM Codes and ICD Codes?"

As a therapist, you are accustomed to calling Diagnosis Codes "DSM Codes", but insurance payers refer to the codes as ICD Codes. ICD Codes are for billing and coding, but can be considered limiting when compared to the more detailed diagnostic approach of the DSM. 

The current HIPAA-compliant code set is ICD-9, which was originally compatible with DSM-IV-TR.  The current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the DSM-5, which is designed to be compatible with the ICD-10, but the ICD-10 is not yet active and won't be active until at least October 1, 2015.  If the ICD-10 is delayed, then why are we supposed to be using the DSM-5?  No wonder we are all confused!

The release of the DSM-5 has provided some updated criteria to some of the codes, as well as a few new diagnosis codes, but many of the same DSM-IV-TR codes transferred to the DSM-5.  As such, any of the previously used codes in the DSM-IV-TR that transferred without change to the DSM-5 can be used with the same ICD-9 Codes.  Any of the new and updated DSM-5 codes now have a designated ICD-9 Code that can be used in your billing records until the ICD-10 implementation. 

To answer the original question:  use the ICD-9 code designation that is compatible with your DSM-5 diagnosis.

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