the first place to look for an icd-10 code should be

by Danielle Tillman 8 min read

Here are three steps to ensure you select the proper ICD-10 codes: Step 1: Find the condition in the alphabetic index. Begin the process by looking for the main term in the alphabetic index.

Full Answer

What is a first listed diagnosis in ICD 10?

When using ICD-10-CM, the term "first listed diagnosis" is used instead of the principal diagnosis. This is where ICD-10-CM coding guidelines are used and take priority over other coding rules in the outpatient setting.

What is the best way to code a diagnosis?

Always code to the highest degree of accuracy and completeness. If there is a fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh digit available, you must use it. Tip. The best code is the actual diagnosis, the next best is a sign or symptom, and the last resort is a circumstance (V code).

What are some examples of ICD-10 codes?

Here are some examples of ICD-10 codes and the conditions they represent. G10 (Huntington's disease) K26.1 (Acute duodenal ulcer with perforation) A37.81 (Whooping cough due to other Bordetella species with pneumonia) I25.111 (Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery with angina pectoris with documented spasm)

How do I find diagnostic terms in the ICD-10 index?

Step 1: Search the Alphabetical Index for a diagnostic term. After identifying the term, note its ICD-10 code. Tip. The term you’re looking for might not be one of the main terms in the index, but it might be listed under one of those main terms. For instance, “Congenital cataract” is listed under “Cataract.”

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What is the first starting point in ICD-10?

To review: the first digit of an ICD-10-CM code is always an alpha, the second digit is always numeric, and digits three through seven may be alpha or numeric.

Where do you find ICD-10 codes?

A Five-Step ProcessStep 1: Search the Alphabetical Index for a diagnostic term. ... Step 2: Check the Tabular List. ... Step 3: Read the code's instructions. ... Step 4: If it is an injury or trauma, add a seventh character. ... Step 5: If glaucoma, you may need to add a seventh character.

Where should the coder look first when assigning codes?

To assign a diagnosis code, first look up the condition in the Index to Diseases and Injuries, then verify the code in the Tabular List.

What is the first step in diagnosis coding?

The correct procedure for assigning accurate diagnosis codes has six steps: (1) Review complete medical documentation; (2) abstract the medical conditions from the visit documentation; (3) identify the main term for each condition; (4) locate the main term in the Alphabetic Index; (5) verify the code in the Tabular ...

How do you find the code?

PCFirefox – CTRL + U (Meaning press the CTRL key on your keyboard and hold it down. While holding down the CTRL key, press the "u" key.) ... Internet Explorer – CTRL + U. Or right click and select "View Source."Chrome – CTRL + U. ... Opera – CTRL + U.

Which of the following is the correct order of steps to take in ICD-10-CM coding quizlet?

Which of the following is the correct order of steps to take in ICD-10-CM coding? Locate the main term in the alphabetic Index, verify the code in the Tabular List, read any instructions in the Tabular List, check for exclusion notes, and assign the code.

What are the steps in locating codes in ICD 10 PCS?

Chapter 9: Basic ICD-10-PCS Coding Steps Locate the main term in the Alphabetic Index. Find the applicable Table. Continue building the code by selecting a value from each column for the remaining 4 characters.

Identifying the correct ICD-10 code might seem a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but in this post, we break it all down into three easy steps

Referencing a Codes That Matter study, CMS developed a breakdown of common codes based on specialty and...

1. Look up the patient condition in the alphabetic index of the full tabular list

The index is contained within the file labeled “ICD-10-CM 2014 Addenda.” If you can’t find the condition you’re looking for, try opening the full tabular list and using your PDF viewer’s search function to find codes related to the condition.

2. Find the appropriate code within the full tabular list

You might initially land on a general, “unspecified” version of the code, so make sure you check to see if more specific levels of the code exist. For example, let’s say the first code you identify for a particular scenario is M66.30 (Spontaneous rupture of flexor tendons, unspecified site).

3. Check the guidelines at the beginning of the chapter

In addition to the notes inserted within particular sections or categories of codes, there also are notes included at the beginning of each chapter of the tabular list. For example, at the very beginning of chapter 13—the musculoskeletal or “M” code chapter—you will see several notes, including the one shown below.

What type of fracture is not open or closed?

A fracture not indicated as open or closed should be coded to closed. The open fracture designations are based on the Gustilo open fracture classification. Type 1 Excludes: traumatic amputation of the forearm. Type 2 Excludes: fracture at wrist and hand level.

How to tell if ICD-10 is a broken arm?

2. Check the Tabular List. While the Alphabetical Index gives you the basic ICD-10 code required, the Tabular List will tell you if there are special instructions associated with the code. For example, for your patient with the broken arm, the Tabular List will tell you that the code requires a sixth character to indicate which bone ...

What to do once you have identified the code you need?

Once you’ve identified the code you need, be sure to scour the Tabular List for its requirements. In the broken arm example, there are notes on what the code does and does not cover including:

What is the purpose of alphanumeric codes?

But they’re not just used for diagnosis: physicians, coders, health IT managers, nurses, and other healthcare professionals also rely on them to assist in the storage and retrieval of patient information.

What is the ICD-10 code?

ICD-10 codes are the bread and butter of medical billing providers across specialties, practice sizes, and levels of patient care. The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition, is based on the International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organization.

How many characters do you need to add to a malady?

Be Aware of Varying Degrees of Severity. For chronic illnesses or compounded injuries, you may have to add a seventh character to indicate the malady’s stage. For example: It is key that you always code to the highest degree of accuracy and completeness.

Is coding straight forward?

But coding isn’t always straight-forward, especially when identifying a patient’s true health problem is murky. The best code is an actual diagnosis, the next best is a sign or symptom, and the last resort is a circumstance, otherwise known as a V code.

What is tabular list?

The Tabular List refers to the actual listing of ICD-10 codes and their descriptors. You’ll also find instructions that will help you apply the codes correctly, as well as lists of additional diagnoses that a code applies to, sequencing rules, or which diagnoses codes are excluded from an ICD-10 code.

How many characters are in ICd 10?

ICD-10-CM codes consist of three to seven characters. Every code begins with an alpha character, which is indicative of the chapter to which the code is classified. The second and third characters are numbers. The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh characters can be numbers or letters.

What is the ICd 10?

ICD-10 refers to the tenth edition of the International Classification of Diseases, which is a medical coding system chiefly designed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to catalog health conditions by categories of similar diseases under which more specific conditions are listed, thus mapping nuanced diseases to broader morbidities.

What does the first 3 characters of an ICD-10 code mean?

The first 3 characters refer to the code category. As such, they represent common traits, a disease or group of related diseases and conditions.

How many sections are there in the ICD-10 PCS?

ICD-10-PCS is composed of 17 sections, represented by the numbers 0–9 and the letters B–D, F–H and X. The broad procedure categories contained in these sections range from surgical procedures to substance abuse treatment and new technology.

What is the purpose of the ICD-10 code for external cause?

ICD-10 external cause codes provide details explaining the events surrounding an injury, which are especially useful in collecting statistics for policy decisions concerning public health . These ICD-10 codes also play an important role in workers’ compensation claims.

How many circumstances are there in the Table of Drugs and Chemicals?

Similar to the Table of Neoplasms, the Table of Drugs and Chemicals allows you to locate codes for poisoning or allergic reactions by cross-referencing the responsible substance with six circumstances that specify whether the substance-related condition was accidental, intentional self-harm, assault, undetermined, adverse effect, or the result of underdosing.

Most Common Examples of Incorrect Sequencing

Patient presents for drainage of pleural effusion that is documented to be malignant secondary to lung cancer. The patient has thoracentesis and is discharged home. In this case, the PDX/first listed code will be the lung cancer followed by the code for the malignant pleural effusion.

Happy Coding!

The information contained in this coding advice is valid at the time of posting. Viewers are encouraged to research subsequent official guidance in the areas associated with the topic as they can change rapidly.

What is the diagnosis of a hospital charge?

For hospital charges, the diagnosis is given upon discharge: The Uniform Hospital discharge Data Set (UHDDS) states the definition of the principal diagnosis is: “That condition established after study to be chiefly responsible for occasioning the admission of the patient to the hospital for care. ”.

What is the reason for encounter documented in the medical record?

The reason for the encounter documented in the medical record will generally be the first listed diagnosis. If there is no specific diagnosis established and the patient presents with only signs or symptoms, the signs and symptoms may be the first listed diagnosis. If a patient is seen for a procedure/surgery, the reason for the encounter ...

What happens if a condition is bilateral?

Bilateral Conditions. If there is a condition that is documented as bilateral, verify if there is a bilateral code that can be reported. If there are bilateral codes and the laterally is not listed in the medical record, you would either query the provider or code it as unspecified side.

What is a NOS code?

If a specific code is not available for a condition, you may need to report an NOS code, “Not otherwise specified”. Coders also use this code if there is not enough documentation to assign a more specific code. Keep in mind when using NOS codes; it is viewed similar to an unspecified code, causing a red flag with payers requiring more attention. Another code selection may be an NEC code “Not elsewhere classifiable”.

Can you code a fever in Chapter 18?

Coding for signs and symptoms from Chapter 18, should not be used if there is a more definitive diagnosis. For example, do not code the first listed diagnosis as a fever if the patient has influenza with pneumonia; you might want to code from J09-J18 Influenza and pneumonia. It is acceptable to code with signs and symptoms if there has been no ...

Can you code with signs and symptoms?

It is acceptable to code with signs and symptoms if there has been no definitive diagnosis made. However, if there are signs and symptoms commonly associated with a disease or illness, they should be reported. Signs and symptoms that may not be a part of the disease should be reported as well.

Is CCM the same as case management?

CCM is not the same as Case Management Services in that case management has to do with “coordinating, managing access to, initiating, and/or supervising'' patient healthcare services whereas CCM services also require the patient to have a condition (s) which is expected to last at least a year or until their death.

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Check The Tabular List

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While the Alphabetical Index gives you the basic ICD-10 code required, the Tabular List will tell you if there are special instructions associated with the code. For example, for your patient with a broken arm, the Tabular List will tell you that the code requires a sixth character to indicate which bone of the arm has been injured.
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Read The Code’s Instructions

  • Once you’ve identified the code you need, be sure to scour the Tabular List for its requirements. In the broken arm example, there are notes on what the code does and does not cover including: 1. A fracture not indicated as displaced or nondisplaced should be coded to displaced 2. A fracture not indicated as open or closed should be coded to closed 3. The open fracture designations are ba…
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If It Is An Injury Or Trauma, Add A Seventh Character

  • Using one of the following, you can indicate if this particular injury or trauma has been experienced before: 1. A to indicate the initial encounter 2. D for a subsequent encounter 3. S for sequela The American Academy of Ophthalmology gives this example: “A patient presents with a complaint of pain in the right eye for two hours. A corneal abrasion is diagnosed. The code is S0…
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Be Aware of Varying Degrees of Severity

  • For chronic illnesses or compounded injuries, you may have to add a seventh character to indicate the malady’s stage. For example: 1. 0 for stage unspecified 2. 1 for mild 3. 2 for moderate 4. 3 for severe 5. 4 for intermediate It is key that you always code to the highest degree of accuracy and completeness. Tedious as it may seem, if there is a fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh digit available, …
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