Health Information Management

Tip: Correct coding for chronic kidney disease and acute kidney failure

APCs Insider, November 2, 2012

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Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may also suffer from a sudden loss of the ability of the kidneys to remove waste and concentrate urine and/or excrete electrolytes. This abrupt loss of kidney function is called acute kidney failure (AKF) or acute kidney injury.

AKF and CKD are two separate and distinct conditions. AKF has an abrupt onset and is potentially reversible. CKD progresses slowly over time and can lead to permanent kidney failure. If both AKF and CKD are clearly documented, code both conditions.
 
Code the AKF as primary with ICD-9-CM code 584.9, followed by the stage of CKD prior to the exacerbation.
 
The tip is adapted from “Simplify chronic kidney disease outpatient coding” in the October Briefings on APCs.



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