COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) is caused by a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans. It was first detected in Wuhan, China.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome–associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

ICD-10-CA coding direction

CIHI recognizes the importance of tracking COVID-19 cases during the pandemic and has provided direction for coding confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 in Canada using ICD-10-CA diagnosis codes.

In order to accommodate the grouping of emergency-use diagnosis codes designated by the World Health Organization for COVID-19 cases, CIHI has added 2 new codes to the National Rehabilitation Reporting System (NRS) ICD-10-CA pick-list for 2020–2021:

  • For confirmed cases of COVID-19, assign U07.1 Emergency use of U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified).
  • For suspected cases of COVID-19, assign U07.2 Emergency use of U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified).

These 2 codes will be effective for clients admitted on or after April 1, 2020. Vendor specifications have been updated for vendors to download from the Vendor Licensed Products application.

Please note: Until the 2 new ICD-10-CA codes are available to facilities in their vendor software, the direction for NRS is to assign ICD-10-CA code B99 Other and unspecified infectious diseases (for confirmed cases only).

The following NRS data elements are to be used to record the ICD-10-CA diagnosis codes for cases of COVID-19:

  • 80. Most Responsible Health Condition (MRHC)
  • 81. Pre-Admit Comorbid Health Condition
  • 82. Post-Admit Comorbid Health Condition
  • 83. Transfer or Death Health Condition
  • 84. Service Interruption Reason
  • 85. Health Condition Reason for Hospitalization (when completing a follow-up assessment)

Capturing other relevant clinical information for COVID-19

In addition to capturing diagnosis codes, include clinical information that is present and relevant in the context of COVID-19 using the appropriate sections in NRS.

Rehabilitation Client Group

The client’s clinical presentation and focus in rehab will determine the appropriate Rehabilitation Client Group (RCG) selection (i.e., data element 34). For example,

  • If the client’s primary focus during rehab is the medical management of COVID-19, select RCG 17.1 Medically Complex — Infections.
  • If the client’s primary focus during rehab is addressing the poor activity tolerance secondary to pulmonary insufficiency associated with COVID-19, select RCG 10.9 Pulmonary Disorders — Other Pulmonary.
  • If the primary focus is to address the generalized deconditioning following the infection, select RCG 16.1 Debility.

Explore CIHI’s COVID-19 resources web page, with key reports and resources on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.