Even though the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic coding system has not been adopted as a HIPAA code set, CMS has said it will recognize these codes as long as they are linked to ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes that will be used under HIPAA, the APA reports.
The APA says the CMS announcement on Sept. 26 shows the agency's willingness to continue informal recognition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) when these codes are referenced to corresponding ICD-9 codes under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
"While the patient's diagnosis is a data element used in such transactions, the criteria considered by the clinician in reaching a diagnosis are not," the CMS statement explains. "Practitioners are free to use the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria--or any other diagnostic guidelines--without any HIPAA-related concerns.
"This announcement verifies that DSM-IV is alive and well, and puts to rest mounting uncertainty and confusion that had begun to emerge as the deadline for implementation of HIPAA approached," says the APA's medical director, James Scully Jr., M.D., in a release.
On Sept. 24, CMS agreed to continue accepting nonstandard Medicare claims after Oct. 16, the deadline for using insurance-related electronic standards mandated by HIPAA, when it became clear that the healthcare industry wouldn't be ready in time.