New healthcare codes to document human trafficking take effect Oct. 1: 4 things to know

New ICD-10 codes to help healthcare providers document sex and labor exploitation take effect Oct. 1.

Here are four things to know ahead of the effective date:

1. The American Hospital Association, along with Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives and clinicians at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital's Freedom Clinic, worked with CMS to develop the 29 codes that were published in June.

2. Existing ICD-10 abuse codes did not properly differentiate human trafficking victims from other abuse victims, according to the AHA. Under the new codes, clinicians at hospitals and other medical facilities can adequately document confirmed and suspected cases of forced sexual and labor exploitation and plan treatment. The AHA said new codes also allow organizations to track the incidence and/or reoccurrence of labor or sexual exploitation.

3. Coding professionals and clinicians may apply the new codes in addition to other existing ICD-10 codes for abuse, neglect and other maltreatment.

4. To help educate staff about the new codes, the AHA's Hospitals Against Violence webpage has tools and resources on human trafficking and a fact sheet on the new codes.


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