In the past, spinal issues treated by Chiropractors normally carried the descriptive term non-allopathic lesion or more commonly subluxation as a diagnosis. The terms always put the disciplines at odds since medical doctors apply the phrase in cases where there is evidence of “significant structural displacements”. ICD-10-CM will, for the most part provide more clarity since the WHO’s 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) introduces the term “biomechanical lesion” as the new primary term to describe the major conditions treated by chiropractic physicians and while your CPT reporting will remain the same, you will now have over 200 possible diagnoses to choose from.
Coding for Chiropractic manipulative therapy will actually require more expertise due to the phase of care and secondary diagnosis requirements. While CMS has agreed to cut providers some “slack” during the first year on specificity, major medical carriers have not. Carriers are revising their policies on “Manipulative Therapy” in anticipation of the October 1st ICD-10 requirements and they may NOT provide you any slack AT ALL.