Update to Home Health Grouper for COVID-19

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced a change to the effective date for the new COVID-19 diagnosis code under ICD-10. The effective date is April 1, 2020. Please also see the newly issued supplemental guidance here.

This change is due to the urgent need to capture the reporting of this condition on health care claims and surveillance data. Diagnosis code U07.1, COVID-19, is to be reported as primary for cases with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

Since the announcement, there have been questions about whether or not the home health Grouper will be updated to reflect the new code when it goes into effect April 1, 2020. CMS has indicated it is planning to update the home health Grouper with an implementation date of April 6. The update will include the new ICD-10 code for vaping and the new ICD-10 code for COVID-19. Therefore, both codes will be implemented timely. The new software should be posted soon and CMS will be issuing a correction to Change Request No. 11656 reflecting these changes.