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Code: J44.1

Code Name: ICD-10 Code for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with (acute) exacerbation

Block: Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)

Excludes 1: bronchitis due to chemicals, gases, fumes and vapors (J68.0)

Excludes 2: cystic fibrosis (E84.-)"

Details: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with (acute) exacerbation

Decompensated COPD
Decompensated COPD with (acute) exacerbation

Excludes 2: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] with acute bronchitis (J44.0)


Code also: type of asthma, if applicable (J45.-)

Use additional code to identify:exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Z77.22)
history of tobacco dependence (Z87.891)
occupational exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Z57.31)
tobacco dependence (F17.-)
tobacco use (Z72.0)

Includes: asthma with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
chronic asthmatic (obstructive) bronchitis
chronic bronchitis with airways obstruction
chronic bronchitis with emphysema
chronic emphysematous bronchitis
chronic obstructive asthma
chronic obstructive bronchitis
chronic obstructive tracheobronchitis

Excludes1: bronchiectasis (J47.-)
chronic bronchitis NOS (J42)
chronic simple and mucopurulent bronchitis (J41.-)
chronic tracheitis (J42)
chronic tracheobronchitis (J42)
emphysema without chronic bronchitis (J43.-)

Excludes2: lung diseases due to external agents (J60-J70)

Guidelines: Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)
Use additional code, where applicable, to identify:exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Z77.22)
exposure to tobacco smoke in the perinatal period (P96.81)
history of tobacco use (Z87.891)
occupational exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Z57.31)
tobacco dependence (F17.-)
tobacco use (Z72.0)

Note: When a respiratory condition is described as occurring in more than one site and is not specifically indexed, it should be classified to the lower anatomic site (e.g. tracheobronchitis to bronchitis in J40).

Excludes 2: certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (P04-P96)
certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A00-B99)
complications of pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (O00-O9A)
congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E88)
injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00-T88)
neoplasms (C00-D49)
smoke inhalation (T59.81-)
symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R94)

For more details on J44.1 , ICD-10 Code for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with (acute) exacerbation , visit:
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Best answers
Hi please clarify my question

What is the appropriate ICD-10 CM code assignment for acute exacerbation of COPD, acute bronchitis and acute exacerbation of asthma?
Last edited:


Best answers
Below are the codes and reference for the above scenario.

The below is Reference from Handbook.
• Coding of Diseases of the Respiratory, Digestive, and Genitourinary Systems
• 19 Diseases of the Respiratory System

Category J44 is further subdivided to specify whether there is an acute lower respiratory infection (J44.0) and whether there is an exacerbation of the condition (J44.1). If applicable, a code from category J45 is assigned to specify the type of asthma. In the case of code J44.0, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute lower respiratory infection, an additional code should be reported to identify the infection. The codes in category J44 distinguish between uncomplicated cases (J44.9) and those in acute exacerbation (J44.1). An acute exacerbation is a worsening or a decompensation of a chronic condition. An acute exacerbation is not equivalent to an infection superimposed on a chronic condition, though an exacerbation may be triggered by an infection. For example, COPD with acute bronchitis should be coded to J44.0, rather than J44.1.

Dr.Ramnath Bandaru, CCS, CPC
American Medical Services LLC
Twitter: @HospitalCoders