As occurs every October 1 there are additions and deletions to the ICD10 code set that is effective on October 1, 2021. Though these are 2022 codes the effective date is October 2021.

There are now 72, 748 ICD10 diagnosis codes, and this year there were 159 new codes added 32 that were deleted, and 20 that were revised.

Being “acu-centric” however, we always focus on the codes most likely to affect acupuncture providers. These codes become effective on October 1, 2021, and for any dates of service on or after 10-1-2021 the new codes must be used. If the care was before 10-1-2021 the old codes would prevail.

The code for back pain M54.5 will be deleted with the addition of 3 codes to replace it.

M54.50   Low back pain, unspecified

M54.51   Vertebrogenic low back pain

M54.59   Other low back pain

Of special note is the new vertebrogenic back pain specifying the origin of the pain from the vertebrae or spine. However, this code was intended to relate to specific “vertebral endplate changes of defects and would not be used for simple spine-related conditions typically for acupuncture care. The best choices for lumbago or back pain default to M54.50 or M54.59 unless you have specific findings of endplate issues and the use of M54.51.

There are now also new codes for cervicogenic headache, non-radiographic spondylarthitis for all levels of the spine. Though not as likely to affect common claims there are also updates to Sjogren’s syndrome and cough.

All of these updates are available on our AcuCode platform and members of that service can search all the new codes by simply using a search of 10-1-2021 and all the updates will appear. You can also search by keyword.

AAC Information Network members are also welcome to contact us directly to send you a list of the complete code updates. You may request via email or direct phone call.

Be sure your list of common codes is correct as we have noted many offices with lists that contain deleted codes there updated in years past.


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