Health Information Management

Q&A: ICD-10-CM coding for asthma

JustCoding News: Outpatient, July 25, 2012

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QUESTION: How is the coding for asthma going to be different in ICD-10-CM? The codes for asthma in ICD-10-CM are found in the J45 series. Coders will find some differences between asthma coding in ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM.

ANSWER:

Coders won’t need to look for documentation that the asthma is intrinsic or extrinsic. ICD-10-CM combines both into one category.
ICD-10-CM classifies asthma the same way the people who study the disease classify it. Essentially, the codes are based on the severity of the asthma, such as mild intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent, etc.
Each severity level includes additional qualifiers that physicians will need to document as well. For example, if a patient suffers from mild intermittent asthma, coders would choose from these codes:
  • J45.20, mild intermittent asthma, uncomplicated
  • J45.21, mild intermittent asthma with (acute) exacerbation
  • J45.22, mild intermittent asthma with status asthmaticus
 
 
Editor’s Note: Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CPC-I, CEMC, CCDS, director of HIM and coding at HCPro, Inc., in Danvers, MA, answered this question during the “JustCoding Virtual Summit: ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS.”
 
This answer was provided based on limited information that was submitted to JustCoding.com. Be sure to review all documentation specific to your own individual scenario before determining appropriate code assignment.
 
Need expert coding advice? Submit your question to Senior Managing Editor Michelle Leppert, CPC-A, at mleppert@hcpro.com, and we’ll do our best to get an answer for you.



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