What Is the AHA Central Office?

The American Hospital Association's Central Office serves as the official U.S. Clearinghouse on medical coding for the proper use of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS (formerly ICD-9-CM) coding systems and Level I HCPCS (CPT-4 codes) for hospital providers and certain Level II HCPCS codes for hospitals, physicians and other health professionals. The AHA Central Office is the publisher of the AHA Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS and the AHA Coding Clinic for HCPCS. AHA Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS represents a formal cooperative effort between the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

What Is AHA Coding Clinic?

The Coding Clinic for ICD-9-CM was established in 1984 to help everyone who had an interest and dedication in improving the accuracy and uniformity of medical record coding. The newsletter was created to provide coding advice, official coding decisions, and news related to the use of ICD-9-CM.

For over 30 years, AHA Coding Clinic provided coding advice in a quarterly publication. Since early 2014, AHA Coding Clinic has solely focused on ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS. AHA Coding Clinic continues to support the field and fill in gaps on the code selection by offering practical examples of frequently asked questions from the AHA Central Office's clearinghouse service and real-life applications of classification rules and guidelines.

The publication of AHA Coding Clinic depends on unanimous agreement of the cooperating parties:

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Centers for Disease Control National Center for Health Statistics
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Health Information Management Association

Publication of Coding Clinic is also supported by the Editorial Advisory Board:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Physicians
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Other physician specialties on ad hoc basis
  • Coding experts

Approval is dependent on EAB discussion and timely submission of draft articles or background material. The EAB reviews and critiques coding/sequencing advice, guidelines and rules prepared for publication. Additionally, the EAB has the following responsibilities:

  • Assist in the selection of topics for each issue
  • Review and critique clinical content, consult with a specialty group, as needed
  • Provide recommendations for ICD-10 modification to the Coordination and Maintenance (C&M) process
  • Keep confidential the proceedings and results of any EAB meeting prior to publication in Coding Clinic as decisions are not final until published

Major Functions of Coding Clinic

  • Provide official ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding advice and official guidelines
  • Answer questions on code assignment and sequencing of codes
  • Serve as a current reference on regulatory and other requirements for reporting diagnostic and procedural information from medical records
  • Present topics and articles that provide practical information, improve technical coding skills, and address issues facing ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS users on data reporting requirements, data edits, record documentation, and various other ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS related matters