Home Health & Hospice

Homecare Aptitude Test: V Codes

Homecare Insider, April 19, 2010

Test your knowledge about V codes.  Identify the situations in which a V code is most appropriate.
1. A patient will receive IV antibiotics for treatment of osteomyelitis.
2. A patient with a stasis ulcer on the lower leg needs dressing changes.
3. A patient receives treatment for second-degree burns of the back and arms.
4. A diabetic patient who stepped on glass had the injury sutured and needs short-term wound care.
5. A patient receives skilled nursing visits for wound care, assessment, and teaching after undergoing a colon resection for diverticulitis.

Scroll down for answers.



Here are the suggested answers to the Homecare Aptitude Test on V codes.  Remember, the determination and assignment of diagnostic and V codes depend on the specifics of the individual patient.  Change one detail and the codes may change. 
1. A V code would not be the best choice in this case.  The patient is receiving treatment for an acute condition.  Use the appropriate diagnosis code for osteomyelitis.
2. This patient also requires treatment of an active problem – the stasis ulcer; there is no aftercare involved. 
3. A V code is not necessary in this case.  The patient needs treatment of burns.
4. The patient requires treatment of a trauma wound.  A sutured wound is not automatically considered a surgical wound.  And the fact that the wound was sutured does not mean the problem was resolved.  A V code does not apply to this case.
5. Aftercare following surgery of the circulatory system (V54.73) would be the principal diagnosis.  Diverticulitis is a case-mix condition.  Because surgery resolved this condition, completion of M1024, payment diagnoses, is necessary to ensure appropriate payment. 

Diagnosis Coding in the Home Health PPS has been updated.  For more information on this DVD program, click on — http://www.beaconhealth.org/cgi-bin/ccp51/cp-app.cgi?pg=prod&ref=VDCHH4DVD.