Social Care Needs Coding and Referral Guide

December 2, 2022
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Social Care Needs Coding and Referral Guide (updated 1/4/23)
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This Social Care Needs Coding and Referral Guide was developed at the request of GNYHA members to support their efforts to screen patients for social care needs, document these needs in the electronic medical record, and partner with community-based organizations (CBO) to address common needs among their patient populations. The Guide also may be a helpful resource as hospitals increase screening and coding efforts in preparation for programs proposed in the New York State Department of Health’s draft 1115 Medicaid waiver request, which was recently shared for public comment.

The Guide includes an abridged list of “z codes,” the commonly used name for the subset of diagnosis codes from the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). The Guide organizes the diagnosis codes by social determinants of health domain and includes a crosswalk of z codes and commonly used health-related social needs screening tool questions. The Guide also includes referral considerations for each code to encourage care team members to seek local CBO assistance to address patients’ social needs.

GNYHA will update this document as needed with new z codes or relevant screening tools.