Wiki E code dispute


Local Chapter Officer
Des Moines, IA
Best answers
I am disputing the use of an E code on a chart I am working on with one of our other coders who is auditing my charts as I am still new to ER coding and my experience lies in surgery coding. I wanted to get some opinions on this and see if anyone has come across this before.

A police officer fractured his hand after punching a suspect in the head. I used E code E960.0 Unarmed fight or brawl. I had looked at using E975 Injury due to legal intervention by other specified means includes: Blow :: :: Manhandling, but the description in our encoder and in the CDR makes it sound like this is used for injuries inflicted by the police (;LEGAL INTERVENTION E970-E978 includes: (injuries inflicted by the police or other law-enforcing agents, including military on duty, in the course of arresting or attempting to arrest lawbreakers, suppressing disturbances, maintaining order, and other legal action) :: :: legal execution)

I am being told that I need to use E975 instead of E960.0. Any help with this would be appreciated.
Hum.... E960 notes state, "Excludes injuries due to: legal intervention...," and directs us to use E970-E978. Also, the annotation note for E975 states, "...E975 is used to report an injury due to legal intervention by other specified means. Use this code if the other legal intervention codes do not apply. This includes injuries by a blow or by manhandling." I would agree that E975 is a better ICD-9, per the detail you've given.
I tend to agree with hewitt as I wasn't comfortable assigning 960 with the "excludes" notes for the category. Also "unarmed" fight or brawl doesn't exactly fit, which leaves E975. It seems to describe the situation better. I'd like to follow thru more on this. Is an activity code approprate here or necessary, and what about the external cause status code E000.0?
I do not think E975 is the "best" code, and should not be coded alone.... I'm sure that jojo2922 already knows this.... I agree, Suzzane, other ICD-9s should be used to better explain the resulting trauma. :)

Thanks everyone I appreciate the input and no that's not the only E code I'm coding but the only one we were disputing. I had also coded E000.0 done for income, E849.1 farm and E029.9 other activity. There weren't too many details about what happened other than the officer punched someone in the head and that they were on a farm.
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I would use the E975 and use the E codes for at work. I feel that it is more of a legal intervention, and if this record goes to court, stating it was an legal intervention than a fight or brawl describes the situation more.... and using the farm; at work; and E000.0 as well...

interesting case... thanks for sharing.
i am bit confused, if its written an altercation had done in between mother, police and child, so what will be the appropriate E code? Either E960.0 or E968.9?? Please advice