Health Information Management

Combine coding guidelines, clinical definitions to correctly code sepsis in ICD-9-CM

HIM-HIPAA Insider, December 15, 2014

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Coding for sepsis requires a strong knowledge of ICD-9-CM coding guidelines, as well as complete and accurate documentation. That's not a surprise to any coding professional. They need those two elements to successfully code any medical record.

 
To correctly code for sepsis, coding professionals also need to understand the clinical definitions for what is—and what is not—sepsis.
 
Because of the coding freeze prior to the implementation of ICD-10-CM, the ICD-9-CM codes and guidelines for reporting sepsis have not changed in several years. "We just continue to have trouble with coding sepsis," says Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, RHIT, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, an AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer with more than 30 years of experience in HIM.
 
The guidelines state that providers often use sepsis and septicemia interchangeably, even though they are not considered synonymous terms.
 
"Definitions are key to understanding and applying the guidelines," Bryant adds.
 
Continue reading "Combine coding guidelines, clinical definitions to correctly code sepsis in ICD-9-CM" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have free access to this article in the December issue.

 

 



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