ICD-9 codes for Diagnostic Tests???

Best answers
Does any one know if you need to hold all diagnostic test for the results before applying a ICD-9 code?

For example, for the technical component of the x-ray, what DX would be used? Say a patient comes in and thinks they may have a broken leg... what DX would be billed for the technical component when the x-ray hasn't been read yet?

Any information on this would be helpful. Thank you.
Jackie CPC, CDC


Kinsley, KS
Best answers
In my opinion, you would not need to wait for the results of the test before assigning the diagnosis code and submitting the claim.

According to the Coding Guidelines in 2008 ICD-9-CM, Section IV. Diagnotistic Coding and Reporting Guidelines for Outpatient Services, L. Patients receiving diagnostic services only--you would code the reason for the visit as the first listed diagnosis code. In your example, assign the sign/symptom that prompted the need for the study. The "broken leg" would be considered a rule out and not assigned.

An exception to this rule, of course, would be pathology examinations. The pathologist would need to determine if the lesion was benign or malignant prior to code assignment.