Health Information Management

Ask the expert: Can you provide an example of when a discharge disposition of 09 (i.e., admitted as an inpatient to this hospital) would be relevant?

HIM-HIPAA Insider, November 20, 2007

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A: You might report discharge disposition 09 for a patient who has undergone outpatient procedures more than three days before an inpatient admission. In this example, it would be a distinct admission separate from those outpatient procedures that the patient underwent earlier. When you assign discharge disposition 09, you're basically telling Medicare that you should be able to be paid for both of these claims-both the outpatient claim and the inpatient claim. When the patient is in a skilled unit, and he or she is admitted to your hospital, you're actually discharging that patient from your skilled unit. In this case, you would report discharge disposition 02 (discharge transfer to a short-term acute care hospital) instead.

Editor's note: Sandy Nicholson, MA, RHIA, CCS-P, founder and CEO of HCR Solutions, LLC, in Locust Grove, GA, answered this question. This Q&A was adapted from the November 2007 issue of Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies. For more information, visit

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