ICD-10 Continues to Follow Rule of Nines, but Allows Wiggle Room

ICD-10 Continues to Follow Rule of Nines, but Allows Wiggle Room

The 2016 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting state, “Categories T31 [Burns classified according to extent of body surface involved] and T32 [Corrosions classified according to extent of body surface involved] are based on the classic ‘rule of nines’ in estimating body surface involved.” The rule of nines, for adult patients, assigns 1 percent of TBSA to the genitalia, and multiples of 9 percent to other body areas (e.g., 9 percent head, 9 percent per arm, 18 percent per leg, etc.). A modified rule of nines is applied for infants, to account for their relatively larger head (18 percent) and smaller legs (14 percent, each). However, the ICD-10-CM guidelines do allow, “Providers may change these percentage assignments where necessary to accommodate infants and children who have proportionately larger heads than adults, and patients who have large buttocks, thighs, or abdomen that involve burns.”

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John Verhovshek

John Verhovshek

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is Managing Editor at AAPC. He has covered medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University, and a member of the Asheville-Hendersonville AAPC Local Chapter.
John Verhovshek

About Has 402 Posts

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is Managing Editor at AAPC. He has covered medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University, and a member of the Asheville-Hendersonville AAPC Local Chapter.

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