Wiki Diagnosis for Difficult Airway

Good One!

Funny that you've brought this up because you see it on ANS services regularly, but I've never been able to find anything (myself) that I felt comfortable with using. Perhaps someone's got a suggestion.

If not, submit your question to AHA Coding Clinic.

Good luck.

We're talking ICD for the Dx of "Difficult Airway" and yes, typically any charges accrued in relation to that are picked up in the ANS care codes.
Difficult Airway

Our MDA's do intubations/extubations/etc for the reason of "difficult airway" out of the OR (ie: in the ER, the pt room, etc.) and bill as "stand alone" charge, meaning not bundled with other charges. This happens when the ER doc/RT/etc. are unable to intubate or extubate the patient and call the MDA to assist. When these are billed, they are billed with the reason the patient is needing to be intubated, such as respiratory distress, respiratory failure, CHF, cardiac arrest, etc. The typical diagnosis codes that are used are: 427.5, 428.0, 518.81, 786.00 ranges...

Hope this helps!
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Dx for difficult airway

Lisa is correct. There is no code in ICD-9-CM for "difficult airway" - use the diagnosis that is the REASON for the intubation.