No more Dementia Diagnosis in the new DSM V The New Name for Dementia

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Upon the release of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), American Psychiatric Association (APA) is replacing the term Dementia with Neurocognitive Disorder.

The manual replaces the term “Dementia” with major neurocognitive disorder and mild neurocognitive disorder. You may ask what is different about it now and why was it changed.

Dementia vs. Neurocognitive Disorder

The word "dementia" is related to a Latin word for "insane." This inspired the introduction of the term “Neurocognitive Disorder,” in attempts to help reduce the stigma associated with both the word “Dementia” and the conditions that it refers to. With that being said, the APA does acknowledge that because the word “Dementia” is commonly used and is easily understood by everyone, it will likely remain in use. The Alzheimer's association is still referring to the illness as Dementia.

Major Neurocognitive Disorder: Coding and Reimbursement Implications for Therapists

So as a professional you are probably wondering what that means for you. The DSM-5 is completely compatible with the HIPAA-approved ICD-9-CM coding system now being used by insurance companies."

The International Classification of Diseases, Version 9 (ICD-9) outlines codes that describe conditions and complexities in order to support skilled intervention. These include:

    • Dementia (290.0–290.4)
    • Alzheimer's (331.0)
    • Mild Cognitive Impairment (331.83)
    • Memory loss not specified elsewhere (780.93)

The codes for Dementia, Alzheimer's, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and memory loss not elsewhere specified still stand. For more on ICD-9 codes for “Major Neurocognitive Disorder” and “Minor Neurocognitive Disorder,” please refer to the DSM-5.

Major Neurocognitive Disorder and future of Care The most important thing to keep in mind about the new terms is that; regardless of names and labels, the focus of quality Dementia care should always be on providing skilled, compassionate, and person-centered support. Knowing the changes are important but essential is the quality of care that is provided.

 

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