The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) has recently accepted the nominations to create more specific ICD-10 codes for Duchenne/Becker and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).

The new codes will be included in the CMS FY 19 Coding Addenda, effective October 1, 2018.

“The lack of an ICD code specific to Duchenne/Becker and FSH muscular dystrophy has proven a barrier to diagnosis, care, surveillance, research, and access,” explains Pat Furlong, founding president & CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD).

Over the last 2 years, PPMD, along with the FSH Society, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s National Center for Birth Defects and Disabilities (CDC NCBDD), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), have worked to increase the specificity of the ICD-10 codes for the muscular dystrophies, according to a media release from PPMD.

“While we have established surveillance through the passage of the MD-CARE Act, we have also had to develop costly and time-consuming processes to discern Duchenne, Becker, and FSH muscular dystrophy cases from those abstracted using previous ICD codes. With approved therapies, payer decisions are now being impacted as over-estimates of economic impacts are made when applying the calculations to their datasets.

“And while care standards have been established, CDC has been unable to assess whether those standards are being implemented. The implementation of these new ICD-10 codes will create a systematic and sizeable impact on the diagnostic, care, research, and outcomes landscapes for our Duchenne/Becker and FSHD communities,” Furlong continues, in the release.

Daniel Perez, co-founder & chief science officer of the FSH Society, notes in the release that, “Nothing could be more technically specialized from a healthcare perspective than this effort to get an ICD-10 code for each type of primary muscular dystrophy. The benefits down the road for this entire class of muscle diseases will be substantial, and this opens up possibilities for greater clinician awareness, outcomes research, and policy.”

[Source(s): Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, PR Newswire]