Jeff Stark, MD: Final Thoughts on ICD-10 Code for nr-ax-SpA


The ICD-10 code for nr-ax-SpA should be programmed into EHRs in October.

Nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-ax-SpA) will have an ICD-10 code come October. And that gives patients with the condition a chance to feel empowered knowing their diagnosis is accurate.

When vendors update their electronic health records (EHRs), typically in October, nr-ax-SpA will be indexed as M46.8, Jeff Stark, MD, head of US medical immunology at UCB, said in a recent interview with HCPLive®.

“We are excited to see that there’s a rapid implementation timeline for this indexing decision made on behalf of the ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee,” Stark said.

It is anticipated that healthcare providers will see the availability of the code for everyday use in the immediate future. Consistent use of the code is extremely important. Over time, this will facilitate the opportunity to mine databases and generate data about the patients with the disease and the journey they undergo, the epidemiology of the disease, and if they respond to treatment.

Before nr-ax-SpA was indexed as a subcategory, there was a lot of guesswork with diagnosing the disease. Patients did not feel heard and Stark said it was disheartening to be unable to provide the most accurate diagnosis possible.

Now, the new ICD-10 code opens up opportunities to learn more about the disease state and the patients who are affected by it.

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