Health Information Management

Tip: Look for added specificity when coding E. coli

APCs Insider, December 2, 2011

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 E. coli food poisoning is a potentially deadly event. The specific strain or serotype of E. coli, designated O157:H7, produces a toxin that is chemically very similar to toxins produced by the Shigella organisms and is thereby named Shiga toxin.

In the past, E. coli (code 041.4) was covered by a single ICD-9-CM code. However, coders now need to select the appropriate E. coli code from the following list:

  • 041.41, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli [E. coli] (STEC) O157
  • 041.42, Other specified Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli [E. coli] (STEC)
  • 041.43, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli [E. coli] (STEC), unspecified
  • 041.49, Other and unspecified Escherichia coli [E. coli]

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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