Health Information Management

The path to pathologic fractures: How to get there from here in ICD-10-CM

HIM-HIPAA Insider, August 25, 2014

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To start, you don't just follow the Yellow Brick Road. That only works in Kansas.
 
In ICD-10-CM, you need to communicate with the medical staff about the specific elements that are important for pathologic fractures, because the coding is different than it used to be and it's so different from traumatic fractures.
 
A traumatic fracture is easy because orthopedic surgeons, ED physicians, and radiologists will invariably document sufficient pieces of that puzzle, leaving the episode of care as the only thing you have to worry about.
 
The part that's tough is that orthopedic surgeons, ED physicians, and radiologists invariably tell you little about the pathology or the circumstances of the event to help you identify when the fracture is, or could be, pathologic.
 
We need to understand a few issues to get started, so let's begin with some definitions. A fracture is a fracture. A broken bone, whether displaced or nondisplaced, whether all the way through or on only one side of the bone, whether caused by torque or repeated pressure or penetrating object, whether open or closed, it's a fracture.
 
Continue reading "The path to pathologic fractures: How to get there from here in ICD-10-CM" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have free access to this article in the August issue.

 



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