Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Case Definition and Related Coding

Novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease, nCoV

This text, compiled based on information published on HealthIdeas Metaspace, describes how COVID-19 is represented in various administrative data files.   

Description

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus virus that, prior to 2019, had not been identified in humans. The COVID-19 outbreak has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. 

Background

Currently, the Ministry of Health receives COVID-19 cases data from two sources: data from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and an extract from Provincial Laboratory Information Solution (PLIS). Over time, it will be possible to identify care provided for COVID-19 via other data holdings (e.g. hospital abstracts, physician billings).

COVID-19 Related Coding

PLIS - COVID-19 Case Finding Algorithm

The Ministry of Health has partnered with PHSA/Lab Agency to create the COVID-19 case finding algorithm. More information will be available later. 

 

DAD/NACRS - ICD-10-CA codes

  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada are assigned the following ICD-10-CA diagnosis code: U07.1 Emergency use of U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified).

    COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory results, irrespective of severity of clinical signs or symptoms (effective on Feb 24, 2020)

    See: ICD-10-CA Coding Direction for Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
     

  • Suspected cases of COVID-19 in Canada are assigned the following ICD-10-CA diagnosis code: U07.2 Emergency use of U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified).

    COVID-19 diagnosed clinically or epidemiologically but laboratory results are inconclusive, not available or testing is not performed. When COVID-19 is ruled out by a negative laboratory result, U07.2 is not assigned (effective on Mar 26, 2020)

    See: ICD-10-CA Coding Direction for Suspected COVID-19 Cases

    Note: While prefix Q is used to identify unconfirmed diagnoses, it is not used with U07.1 or U07.2. This is an exception to the coding standard 

See also:   

WHO - ICD codes for emergency use for COVID-19 outbreak

CIHI - Capturing COVID-19 Diagnoses Using interRAI Assessments in Long-Term Care and Home Care (April 2, 2020)

CIHI - ICD-10-CA Coding Direction for COVID-19 in Obstetrics, and Updates on the Use of COVID-19 Laboratory Test Results (April 30, 2020)

 

MSP - ICD-9 code C19, new fee items

The ICD9 code used for COVID-19 is 'C19'.

New fee items that have been created in response to the pandemic. The highlighted codes (in bold) are COVID-specific. The other three are new, time-limited fees for virtual care, similar to some General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) fees, but lack some of the billing restrictions of the GPSC fees.

 

Fee item number Fee item description Care type
10007 SPECIALIST EMAIL/TEXT/PHONE ADVICE RELAY OR RX FEE Virtual care
10008 URGENT SPECIALIST COVID-19 ADVICE Virtual care
13701 OFFICE VISIT FOR COVID-19 WITH TEST In-person care
13702 OFFICE VISIT FOR COVID-19 WITHOUT TEST In-person care
13706 FP DELEGATED PATIENT TELEHEALTH MANAGEMENT FEE Virtual care
13707 FT EMAIL/TEXT/PHONE MED ADVICE RELAY OR RE-RX FEE Virtual care
13708 FP COVID-19 COMMUNICATION-SPECIALIST/ALLIED CARE Virtual care

 

BC Vital Statistics Deaths

Causes of death due to COVID-19 are indicated using underlying cause of death (UCODE) U07.1 (confirmed) and U07.2 (suspected).

It is important to keep in mind that data related to causes of death become available as the causes are determined, reported to Vital Statistics Agency, and converted to ICD codes. Therefore, data related to older deaths are more complete than data related to more recent deaths.

 

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Page last revised: June 2, 2020