Health Information Management

Tip: Review, remember revised code descriptions

APCs Insider, October 14, 2011

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised the code descriptions for 41 ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes as part of the 2012 updates to the ICD-9-CM codes. Coders must familiarize themselves with the new code descriptions, which became effective October 1.

The words "intellectual disabilities" replaced "mental retardation in the 317–319 series of codes. " Intellectual disabilities can be mild, moderate, severe, profound, or unspecified. The same change occurred in V codes V18.4 (family history of intellectual disabilities) and V79.2 (special screening for intellectual disabilities).

Three influenza codes—488.11, 488.12, and 488.19—now specify "2009 H1N1 influenza" within their code descriptions, replacing the phrase "identified novel."
The codes in series 995.5x now denote "anaphylactic reaction" instead of anaphylactic shock. Coders still must select the appropriate fifth digit to denote the substance that caused a reaction.

The tip is adapted from “Final regular ICD-9-CM code update continues trend of increased specificity” in the October issue of Briefings on APCs.

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