Health Information Management

Strains, sprains, and dislocations: ICD-10-CM orthopedic changes go beyond fractures

HIM-HIPAA Insider, October 6, 2014

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The changes to fracture coding in ICD-10-CM have received plenty of attention since coders first saw the expanded code choices. In some cases, coders went from having two codes for a particular fracture in ICD-9-CM to several hundred codes in ICD-10-CM.

However, fractures are not the only orthopedic conditions that may require additional documentation for ICD-10-CM. Coders will need more details in order to report sprains, strains, and dislocations as well.
The ICD-10-CM codes for strains, sprains, and dislocations can include significantly more detail about the specific site of the dislocation, including laterality (right, left, or unspecified).
 
The codes also require seventh characters that go at the end of the code to denote the episode of care, says Kristi Stanton, RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC, AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, AHIMA ICD-10 ambassador, and senior consultant with the Haugen Consulting Group in Denver.
 
"First of all, these must be in the seventh character position, and some of the codes that we have only have four or five characters, so we use an X as a placeholder," Stanton says. "Whenever I go back and look at my initial training notebook, I have to say that probably the most glaringly obvious mistake that I made was leaving out my placeholders."
 
Continue reading "Strains, sprains, and dislocations: ICD-10-CM orthopedic changes go beyond fractures" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have free access to this article in the October issue.



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