Discussion of proposals for coding of CFS for ICD-10-CM at May 10-11, 2011 CFSAC meeting
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services via the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on issues related to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). These include:
• factors affecting access and care for persons with CFS;
• the science and definition of CFS; and
• broader public health, clinical, research and educational issues related to CFS.
Administrative and management support for CFSAC activities is provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). However, staffing will continue to be provided primarily from the Office on Women’s Health, which is part of OASH.
Dr. Nancy C. Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health – Women’s Health, is the Designated Federal Officer for CFSAC.
The Spring meeting of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) was held on May 10-11, 2011 in Room 800, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Ave, S.W., Washington, D.C.
The Fall meeting has been announced for Tuesday, November 8 and Wednesday, November 9 but will be located in a different venue. The November meeting will be hosted at the Holiday Inn Capitol, Columbia Room, 550 C Street, SW., Washington, D.C. See next post for Federal Notice. At the time of publication, no agenda for the Fall meeting has been issued.
Minutes Day One and Two Spring 2011 meeting from this page: Minutes May 10-11 CFSAC
Presentations Day One and Two: Presentations and Meeting Materials
Public and Written Testimonies here: Public Testimonies
Recommendations approved from Spring meeting: Recommendations CFSAC May 10-11
Videocasts of the entire two day proceedings can be viewed here: Videocasts Day One and Two
Discussion of ICD-10-CM and DSM-5 at the May CFSAC meeting
Of particular interest to the scope of this site was the Agenda item on Day One at 1:15 p.m.
Discussion of International Classification of Diseases-Clinical Modification (ICD-CM) concerns
Dr Wanda Jones, outgoing Designated Federal Officer for CFSAC, had invited a representative from the National Center for Health Statistics to attend the meeting, though no-one had been available for that date.
Instead, Dr Jones presented Committee members with a four page document ICD-related questions from CFSAC for May 2011 meeting as background information.
The document, which can be downloaded in PDF format here, set out responses to the following questions:
What are the key steps in development of the ICD-10-CM?
How does the ICD-CM (whatever version, -9, -10, etc.) align with past and current versions of the -CM and with the WHO’s current and past versions?
How is the ICD-CM used in policy-related decision making?
What difference does coding designation make? How do we get providers to use a particular code–is it an issue of education, of outreach, or what? If codes related to CFS are in several different places, doesn’t that affect the count? And finally, if the codes change, do we lose the numbers from the prior coding systems?
How does ICD coding relate to DSM coding (or does it)?
Partial List of Organizations Consulted and/or Reviewing ICD-10-CM During Development and Ongoing Maintenance of ICD-10-CM
CFSAC Recommendations – May 10-11, 2011
Following a 45 minute discussion of the forthcoming partial code freeze, the implications for CFS and ME patients of current proposals for ICD-10-CM and in the context of draft proposals by the DSM-5 Work Group for “Somatic Symptoms Disorders”, a new Recommendation was proposed by Dr Lenny Jason, seconded by Dr Nancy Klimas, and voted unanimously in favour of by the Committee.
The specific recommendation articulated by the Committee in respect of the agenda item above was:
1. CFSAC rejects current proposals to code CFS in Chapter 18 of ICD-10-CM under R53.82: Chronic fatigue, unspecified > Chronic fatigue syndrome NOS. CFSAC continues to recommend that CFS should be classified in ICD-10-CM in Chapter 6 under “diseases of the nervous system” at G93.3, in line with ICD-10 and ICD-10-CA (the Canadian Clinical Modification), and in accordance with the Committee’s recommendations of August 2005. CFSAC considers CFS to be a multi-system disease and rejects any proposals to classify CFS as a psychiatric condition in US disease classification systems. (Note: no disease classification system under HHS’ control proposes to move or to include CFS in or among psychiatric conditions.)
Information on the ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee September 2011 meeting referred to by Dr Jones, in the Minutes, can be found on this page.
Information of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) draft due for implementation in October 2013 can be found on this page.
Video of this section of the meeting can be viewed here at Videocast Day One at 4hrs 27 mins in from start of broadcast.
I should like to thank Dr Lenny Jason, whose term as a CFSAC Committee member ends following the November meeting, for informing the Committee around current proposals for the forthcoming ICD-10-CM, on the classification of PVFS, ME and CFS in ICD-10 and on the development of ICD-11 and for also raising with the Committee concerns around DSM-5, an issue that had not previously been discussed in any depth at a CFSAC meeting.
Extract (Pages 26-29) Minutes May 10-11 CFSAC
DISCUSSION OF INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES – CLINICAL MODIFICATION (ICD-CM) CONCERNS
Dr. Christopher Snell
• Brought the meeting to order. Noted they would have a discussion of the ICD-related questions and the proposed reclassification of chronic fatigue syndrome.
• Advised there was a page in the members’ notebooks tabbed after the State of the Knowledge summary which noted key steps in the development of the ICD 10 CM, so a clinical modification of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ICD 10. It would replace ICD 9.
• Stated his understanding of the issues:
o Disconnect between the way the U.S. uses the classification and the rest of the world.
o The way CFS is classified under the ICD system has implications for both reporting of incidents, morbidity and mortality.
o Used by outside agencies to categorize the illness for purposes of inclusion or exclusion. Opened the floor for discussion.
Dr. Wanda Jones
• Clarified that the committee requested that the National Center for Health Statistics have someone to talk to them about the international classification of diseases, about the process, about how the U.S. adapts the WHO index, ( the ICD) for use and about opportunities for dialogue.
• Noted that a meeting was set a year ago for May 10 and 11 in Baltimore that engaged resources of CMS, parts of the federal government focused on health IT and the entire ICD team from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
• Noted that as a result no one was available for the CFSAC meeting.
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• In lieu of their attendance, she developed some questions that the NCHS, ICD team responded to.
• Tried to clarify the questions so they would have a good understanding of the key processes and the key inflection points differentiating the WHO process from the U.S. ICD-CM, the clinical modification process.
• Raised additional questions regarding how alignment from prior versions is maintained and how ICD coding is used in decision-making.
• Noted also the relationship between the coding and the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM). Stated that the information was provided by the NCHS and is meant to generate discussion.
• Stated that the ICD-CM process is a public process with regularly scheduled public meetings. Noted that there is an opportunity to comment as part of that process and to engage.
• Confirmed that the NCHS stated that there has been no public presence from the CFS community at the meetings.
• Noted that this was the process for people interested in CFS coding to become involved. Confirmed that there was a lock procedure that is soon to be executed for the ICD 10 CM.
• Noted it had been in development for a decade and the United States’ move to electronic records means it has to temporarily lock the codes. The electronic health records software would not be ready if they keep changing them.
• Noted that information about coding changes would continue to be collected, taken under advisement and the NCHS would continue the process of evaluating.
• Stated that once it is in public use then that lock will release and there would be an opportunity on a periodic basis for updating.
Dr. Leonard Jason
• Stated that the committees are developing ICD 10 CM and it intends to retain CFS in R codes (R53.82) and this means that the symptoms, signs, abnormal results of clinical or other investigative procedures are ill-defined conditions.
• Stated that R-codes means it’s an ill-defined condition regarding which no diagnosis is classifiable elsewhere. Explained that if it cannot be diagnosed elsewhere in ICD 10 it goes into a R-code.
• The intention in ICD 11 is to put CFS with two other conditions (post viral fatigue syndrome and benign myalgic encephalomyalitus) under a G-code, being G93.3 or diseases of the nervous system. Noted that coding CFS under the R-code in the proposed ICD 10 CM would place it out of line with the International ICD 10 used in over 100 countries.
• Discussed the problems and implications of the U.S. coding of CFS as compared with how other countries are coding it.
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It would exclude it from the R53 malaise and fatigue codes, which would imply that CFS does not have a viral etiology.
• Brought forward a motion to be considered:
CFSAC rejects current proposals to code CFS in Chapter 18 of ICD 10 CM under R53.82 chronic fatigue syndrome unspecified, chronic fatigue syndrome NOS (not otherwise specified). CFSAC continues to recommend that CFS should be classified in the ICD 10 CM in Chapter 6 under diseases of the nervous system at G93.3 in line with international ICD 10 in ICD 10 CA which is the Canadian clinical modification and in accordance with the committee’s recommendation which we made in August of 2005. CFSAC considers CFS to be a multi-system disease and rejects any proposals to classify CFS as a psychiatric condition in U.S. disease classification systems.
• Noted that ME and CFS patients could be potentially vulnerable to the current DSM 5 proposals because those proposals are highly subjective and difficult to quantify.
• Noted that retaining the CFS in the R-codes in the IDC 10 CM differentiates the U.S. from other countries but it renders CFS and ME patients more vulnerable to some of the DSM 5 proposals, notably chronic complex symptom disorder [sic]. [Ed: Complex Somatic Symptom Disorder]
Dr. Klimas asked for clarification, and Dr. Jason said that in 2013 they would move from DSM 4 to DSM 5. As it stands they would be collapsing somatization disorder, undifferentiated somatoform disorder, hypochondriasis and some presentations of panic disorder [sic] [Ed: pain disorder] into complex somatic symptom disorder. Dr. Klimas clarified that his concern was that the CFS ICD 9 codes would put the non post viral patients into this somatoform cluster. Dr. Jason indicated that this was so.
Dr. Klimas seconded the motion. Mr. Krafchick agreed and stated that the ramifications of the classification would be disastrous for patients, because it would limit disability payments to two years. Dr. Jones clarified that for now the clock was ticking, however once the codes were released, they could be revised, it’s just the implementation of the electronic system which is causing it to be locked at a particular point in time. While CFSAC has shared concerns with NCHS, there is an official process for engaging with them on their discussions regarding the codes. The US was interested in morbidity, in case claims. It is important that providers know how to best categorize things, and provide guidance on which codes to consider based on the science for the disease being evaluated.
Mr. Krafchick stated that the issue was that the criteria for the codes was etiology/trigger based. Dr. Jones clarified that it would still remain in the clinician’s judgment, however if they could not identify where the trajectory developed toward CFS, then it would wind up in the R codes. Dr. Jones clarified also that the NCHS does not view the R category as a somatoform disorder. Mr. Krafchick and Dr. Snell indicated they understood this but it would still represent vulnerability for patients when classifying.
Dr. Jason restated his recommendation.
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Dr. Marshall stated his concern that there was an attendant risk with this, but that they were between a rock and a hard place. He agreed CFS/ME being classified as a somatoform disorder was inappropriate, but at the same time that the recommendation says it’s a complex multi-system disease, it categorizes it within a single nervous system disease silo. This might affect future research funding opportunities with people saying they don’t fund neurological research. He expressed the view that they should advocate for classification in a multi-system disease category rather than putting it in a nervous system disease category for future, though this category did not exist now. It would be a good thing for patients short term, but it could be a long term risk.
Dr. Snell said that given the amount of current funding, this wasn’t a risk. Dr. Marshall said that using reverse translational research as had been advocated during the meeting might increase the role of this categorization, and could be restrictive in funding.
Dr. Jones asked whether the recommendation being put forward was the same as the May 2010 recommendation, and
Dr. Jason said that his was dramatically different. Mr. Krafchick underscored how the insurance companies use these ICD codes. If it was classified in something that could be psychiatric it will be psychiatric, so they can deny coverage.
Dr. Levine asked about co-morbid disorders and how these are weighted. Dr. Jones responded that she did not think that there was a weighting. It would get listed like a death certificate, a cause of death and then a secondary, sometimes a third. She stated it was the judgment of the clinician how it was listed.
Dr. Klimas expressed the view that coding was also problematic because clinicians code to get paid. There already exists a bias against coding CFS as CFS because the codes could not be used for billing. She stated that they would make a conscious decision not to code CFS as CFS. She indicated that neurology was a fine place for it to be categorized, and at least this would assist people who may be looking for patient data, as it wouldn’t be ignored.
Dr. Snell asked for a vote of all those in favor regarding Dr. Jason’s motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Dr. Jones noted that she would share this recommendation with the NCHS but repeated that unless someone moved forward to intervene in the official processes in the public record it may not move forward or have an effect.
Dr. Jones noted that the next ICD meeting is September 14 – 15, 2011 with public comments due July 15. Noted this will be put on the CFSAC website. She noted she would check the rules to see if a member of the CFSAC or the Chair would be able to give public testimony at another advisory committee meeting. Mr. Krafchick said that if it were possible to send someone as a member of the committee, it would make a great deal of sense and be very important. Dr. Jones said they would figure out how this could happen. Ms. Holderman asked whether this notice, and any future notices where they might want to intervene, could be placed on the CDC website. She stated this cross listing would be useful.
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Dr. Jones said that from her experience with the fast evolving HIV coding, there was a dialogue so that coding kept up. She expected there would be some connection, however not as comprehensive or active as that disease.
Dr. Mary Schweitzer, a member of the public, stated that the NCHS did come to CFSAC in 2005 and Dr. Reeves at the time was specific and said that CFS needed to be in R53 due to his own method of diagnosis. She suggested that this showed an obvious connection between the CFS side of CDC and NCHS at the time.
[Extract from Minutes, CFSAC Day One: May 10, 2011 ends]