Coding > Coding

ICD-10 and Decimal points

**Annie1**:

Does anyone know if the decimal points are going to be required for the ICD-10 diagnosis codes? Our system currently only stores 7 characters, not including the decimal. Currently we have the new ICD-10 tables set up as 7 characters with no decimal.

I'm wondering if these will get rejected.

**Merry**:

You should not have been using decimal points even on ICD-9 codes. Using the decimal moves all your numbers to the right of the decimal over one. We haven't used decimals for eons. If you look at a paper claim, and you use a computer, when you print it out, your system should suppress the punctuation. Electronic claims would be rejected unless your clearinghouse is doing it for you.

**RichardP**:

If you look at a paper claim ... your system should suppress the punctuation.

Merry - I'm looking at the CMS 1500 (08-05) Form. In Box 21, I see a place for four diagnosis codes (1-4). At each place, there is a red underline, a red period, and then another red underline. That is, the CMS 1500 provides a place for the numbers before the period, the period, and the numbers after the period.

I'm looking at a printed CMS 1500 Form for one of our clients. The software prints the period right where the red period is printed on the Form. We've been submitting these HCFA/CMS Forms with the period printed on them since the late 1990's.

Edit: I'm looking at some ICD-10 codes right now - and see some with 1 digit to the right of the decimal point, some with 2 digits to the right, and some with 3 digits. Those codes that I am looking at only have 1 Letter and 2 digits (total of 3) to the left of the decimal point.

Take B37.0 for example (a real code). Assuming there is a B37.01 code, and we don't use a decimal point, we end up with B3701. How does the computer know that is supposed to be B370.1 rather than B37.01? Inquiring minds want to know, if you know.

Also - do you know what the total length of the ICD-10 Codes will be. Not to exceed 7 digits? 10 digits? Or is that undefined?

**rdmoore2003**:

Up to 7 digits RichardP

**RichardP**:

Thank you.

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