What You Should Know About the GEMS and Partial Code Freeze

The GEMs are tools that act mainly as a crosswalk between the ICDñ9 and ICDñ10 codes. CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the national version of the GEMs to ensure that consistency in national data is maintained. You can look up an ICDñ9 code and be provided with the most appropriate ICDñ10 matches and vice versa. They are not a substitute for learning the new ICDñ10 codes; however, they can assist users doing the following: • Translating lists of codes, code tables, or other coded data • Converting a system or application containing ICDñ9ñCM codes • Creating a "one-to-one" applied mapping (aka crosswalk) between code sets that will be used in an ongoing way to translate records or other coded data • Studying the differences in meaning between the ICDñ9ñCM classification systems and the ICDñ10-CM/PCS classification systems by looking at the GEMs entries for a given code or area of classification The 2011 GEMs are posted to the CMS ICDñ10 website. As a reminder, if you plan to use a GEM, per the Affordable Care Act, you must use the GEMs posted to the CMS website. Because continuous updates and changes to the existing code sets has the potential to make the transition to ICDñ10 difficult, CMS will be implementing a partial code freeze on October 1, 2011. This is the last day for regular updates to both the ICD-9 and ICDñ10 code sets. Starting October 1, 2012 there will be only limited code updates to ICDñ9ñCM and ICDñ10 code sets to capture new technology and new diseases. There will be no updates to ICDñ9ñCM on October 1, 2013 as the system will no longer be a HIPAA standard.

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