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accelerated htn "coding tip"


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I have the Decision Health ICD-9 book. It contains a "coding tip" that says, "Do not use malignant hypertension codes when hypertension is identified as accelerated or uncontrolled alone." I see that uncontrolled is a non-essential modifier and therefore uncontrolled htn should not be coded as malignant, but this tip seems to conflict with other guidance in relation to "accelerated htn". In the htn table accelerated is a separate entry that leads you to the code for malignant htn, but this "tip" says not to use. I'm confused. Does anyone have an ICD-9 book by a different publisher? Does it include this same tip? Is there anyway to find out if this is accurate guidance or a misprint?


Stuart, Florida
Best answers
I, personally, use the Ingenix ICD-9 books so I'm unfamiliar with Decision Health ICD-9. I've always coded accelerated htn as malignant since that is what my books have pointed to. I went ahead and did some searching, to get some info on what accelerated htn should be coded to, anyway. Everything I found pretty much said the same thing. If the diagnosis is documented as malignant or accelerated htn, the correct code would be 401.0.

Here are some of the articles that I found.




Hope this helps.