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JustCoding News: Outpatient, July 14, 2010

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A new provider has joined our office, and she performs pre-op psych evaluations for bariatric candidates. She has always practiced with self-pay clients, therefore she did not need to submit diagnosis codes to the insurance companies. I was told that we cannot use ICD-9-CM code 278.01 (morbid obesity) because that is a medical diagnosis and not a mental health diagnosis. Any idea what I should use for a diagnosis code? Most of the clients do not have eating disorders, which is the only other code I can think of in the mental health section that might apply. I found a post on Oxford United Healthcare that said to use ICD-9-CM code 799.9, but I'm pretty sure I would get a denial from that also.

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