Health Information Management

Tip: Use new fifth digit to specify type of anti-depressant poisoning

APCs Insider, July 31, 2009

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The ICD-9-CM code changes for fiscal year 2010 will include the addition of a fifth digit to code 969.0, which describes poisoning by an antidepressant. The fifth digit will allow coders to specify which of the following caused the poisoning:
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (969.01)
  • Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (969.02)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (969.03)
  • Tetracyclic antidepressants (969.04)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (969.05)
  •  Other antidepressants (969.09)
Symptoms vary by drug, so added specificity likely will allow facilities to narrow down more quickly the antidepressant that caused the poisoning. Despite increased specificity, an unspecified code remains an option.  For example, a coder who doesn’t know which type of antidepressant poisoned a patient may still report poisoning due to antidepressant, unspecified.
This tip was adapted from the article “New ICD-9-CM codes increase specificity” from the August issue of Briefings on APCs.

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