Health Information Management

Tip: Respiratory coding guidelines similar in ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM

APCs Insider, March 16, 2012

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Coders need to understand the intimate details of the upper and lower respiratory systems to report diseases and conditions of the respiratory system in ICD-9-CM (Chapter 8, codes 460–519).

For patients diagnosed with acute sinusitis, physicians must document which specific sinus is infected or inflamed so that coders can report the correct required fourth digit. Coders working with ear, nose, and throat specialists should focus on the upper tract; those working with pulmonologists should focus on the lower tract.

Diseases of the respiratory system appear in Chapter 10, codes J00–J99. Currently, ICD-10-CM guidelines are the same as those for ICD-9-CM with additional guidance for the proper reporting of ventilator-associated pneumonia.

The tip is adapted from “ICD-10 anatomy refresher: Respiratory system” in the March issue of Briefings on APCs.



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