Health Information Management

Clear up morphology and neoplasm code confusion

Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies, November 1, 2008

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The ICD-9-CM Manual provides many helpful tools you can use to your advantage.

For example, despite its intimidating plethora of rows and columns, the neoplasm table in the alphabetical section of the manual can provide valuable information once you know how to use it.

The morphology table (Appendix A) also contains helpful information.

Early on, I realized the value of these additional tools and how they helped to enhance my coding skills in all areas—not just in cancer coding.

But neoplasm coding, in particular, requires a thorough understanding of anatomy and medical terminology, so aside from referring to the table, don’t hesitate to use your medical dictionary to look up terms you don’t understand.

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