News: Coordination & Maintenance Committee goes off agenda to discuss proposed sepsis code changes

CDI Strategies - Volume 13, Issue 11

The Coordination and Maintenance (C&M) Committee met last week on March 5 and 6 to discuss proposed code changes in ICD-10-CM/PCS. The agendas for the meetings are available on the CMS website, but during the March 6 meeting, the committee notably strayed away from that agenda to discuss potential changes to the sepsis codes.

The proposals outlined would first remove the codes under category R65, which apply to systemic inflammatory response syndrome with and without acute organ dysfunction, and severe sepsis with and without shock. A new code, R57.2, would be added for septic shock.

In addition to the code changes, several other updates would need to be undertaken, according to the C&M Committee:

  • Review and revise the Index and Tabular lists regarding SIRS and severe sepsis
  • Incorporate the relevant terminology changes implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) between 2010-2012
  • Incorporate any relevant changes from WHO in 2019 as appropriate

Though this project isn’t set for immediate completion—the C&M Committee members expect to include it on the December 2019 meeting’s agenda—they are seeking comments regarding the proposals by Friday, May 10. These proposals, they said, will help guide their research and suggestions regarding sepsis coding going forward. To submit a comment, email

Editor’s note: The C&M committee is comprised of representatives from CMS and the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics. The committee approves code changes, develops errata, addenda, and any other modifications to the code sets. To read the agenda from the meetings last week, click here. To watch the full meeting recording from the March 6 meeting, click here.

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