Health Information Management

Don’t forget about approach for ICD-10-PCS

HIM-HIPAA Insider, December 29, 2014

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ICD-10-PCS codes consist of seven characters, each of which identifies a unique, specific piece of information. For most of the codes in the Medical and Surgical section, each character represents the same information every time.

The fifth character in every code identifies the approach. In the Medical and Surgical section, coders will find seven different approach characters composed of three components:
  • Access: The skin or mucous membranes and external orifices are the two types of access locations, says Laura Legg, RHIT, CCS, AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, and HIM director at Healthcare Resource Group in Spokane Valley, Washington. All approaches except external include one of these two access locations. The physician can cut or puncture the skin or mucous membrane to reach the procedure site. All open and percutaneous values use this access location. Access through an external opening can involve either a natural or artificial orifice.
  • Location: Instrumentation is the specialized equipment used to perform the procedure, Legg says. All internal approaches require instrumentation. Endoscopic refers to approach values that permit the site to be visualized.
  • Method and instrumentation: With procedures on an internal body part, method specifies how the external access location is entered, Legg says. The open method specifies cutting through the skin or mucous membrane to expose the site of the procedure.
Continue reading "Don't forget about approach for ICD-10-PCS" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have free access to this article in the November issue.

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