Cardiology Coding Alert

Reader Questions:

Tune Into I49.5 for Sick Sinus Syndrome

Question: A patient has sick sinus syndrome. How should I report this diagnosis on my claim?

Pennsylvania Subscriber

Answer: You should report I49.5 (Sick sinus syndrome) for sick sinus syndrome.

Sick sinus syndrome defined: When a patient has sick sinus syndrome (SSS), their heart’s natural pacemaker, which is the sinus node, is not able to maintain a heart rate appropriate for their body’s needs. So, the patient will have arrythmias, such as bradycardia.

Don’t miss: Code I49.5 also includes tachycardia-bradycardia syndrome. This condition occurs when the patient’s heart will beat too quickly and too slowly.

Tip: If you choose I49.5, you should “code first” cardiac arrhythmia complicating:

  • Abortion or ectopic or molar pregnancy (O00-O07, O08.8)
  • Obstetric surgery and procedures (O75.4)