Whether the DSM-5® is a book you love to hate or hate to love, one thing is certain: beginning Oct. 1, 2015 you need to put your feelings for the DSM-5 aside and learn to live with change.
When the DSM-5 was released in 2013, it was done under the guide that the ICD-10 would be adopted by the United States health care system that same year. The two books act as companions, both helping to categorize and communicate patient diagnoses into codes for the purpose of insurance reimbursement. As the ICD-10 implementation continued to be delayed, it meant that the ICD-9 codes provided in the DSM-IV would still allow clinicians to receive reimbursement for their care.
As ICD-10 goes live, the codes provided in the DSM-IV will officially retire. For mental health providers it means one thing: The change to DSM-5 has become inevitable. Make the switch, or simply lose your reimbursement.
What do you NEED to know about coding changes?
One major change is the numbering system; the ICD-10 has switched to an alpha-numeric system. ICD-10 diagnosis codes have between 3 and 7 characters and always begin with an alpha digit. All mental health codes will begin with the alpha digit ‘F’.
How DSM-5 and ICD-10 Are Combined in Diagnosis
For all the abuse the poor old DSM has taken, it brings a much needed sense of order and logic to what’s otherwise a raw, chaotic mess of mental and behavioral phenomena. Undoubtedly, many a therapist, even perhaps some of those loudest in condemning DSM, has consulted it, not just to figure out the most reimbursable diagnosis, but to get some handle on the maddening complexity that clients bring to sessions. If we didn’t have the DSM, would we be reduced to consulting clairvoyants?