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sinusitis debate

Cottrell

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I need some opinions please. We are having a debate about the right dx for "sinusitis". Some of us say
473.9, since chronic is in parenthesis, or
461.9 because the other code is under the 473 chronic heading.
We need some opinions and a reference or two would be great! Thanks all. :)
 
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4,466
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Milwaukee WI
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461.9

If the doctor doesn't tell me it's chronic, I code it as acute because I only know about this episode.

Just my opinion.

F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M
 

dmaec

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I code sinusitis the opposite as Tessa -- I code it as 473.9 - UNLESS it's stated as acute - (or one of the other subheadings - allergic, frontal, maxillary, etc). I too believe because "chronic" is in parentheses - it's a supplementary word - nonessential.

:)
 

mbort

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I code it both ways :)

If it were an initial e/m I would use the acute.
If the patient has been seen multiple times for the same thing, I use chronic.
If the patient has surgery, I use chronic.
 

Cottrell

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clarification

Let's say for arguements sake, you have a piece of paper with the word
"Sinusitis" on it. What code do you use without any other information?
 
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Acute

Let's say for arguements sake, you have a piece of paper with the word "Sinusitis" on it. What code do you use without any other information?

First, Mary is right ... you'd probably want to ask for more info ...

If I didn't KNOW that the patient has been seen for this multiple times or has had surgery for this problem, I'd code it as acute - 461.9

F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M
 

esmith

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Sinusitis

“In the case of sinusitis, the term “Chronic” is a nonessential modifier after the main term, so that means that the term does not have to be in the diagnostic statement to use that code. So in the case of sinusitis when unspecified it should be coded as 473.9 (chronic).”
 

mstenochs

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473.9 also has my vote. Without further information stating Acute or Chronic it would be the unspecified.
Although in my work setting we would request further clairification from the provider.
 
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