Seeking clarification for tobbaco use codes


Stuart, Florida
Best answers
Hi all,
Trying to get clarification on the billing side for some doctors.

If the patient is a tobacco user, and the primary diagnosis (J35.1 for example) instructs us to also code the additional tobacco use code, if applicable, I understand this to mean that each time the patient is seen for this issue, then we would also append the appropriate Z, P, or F code.

However, some doctors understand it to mean that as long as the tobacco use is documented in the note (either the PFSH, HPI, etc) then it doesn't have to go on the claim every time they are seen for a condition that also requires that additional code....But my thought process then questions why on earth were the HCFA claims expanded to allow up to 12 diagnoses??

I just want to make sure I have my understanding correct before I go back to them.