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sinusitis debate

  1. #1
    Location
    north seattle wa
    Posts
    103
    Default sinusitis debate
    Medical Coding Books
    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.

  2. #2
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
    Posts
    4,466
    Default 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

  3. #3
    Location
    Duluth, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,133
    Default
    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.

    Donna, CPC, CPC-H

  4. #4
    Location
    ENGLEWOOD/DENVER
    Posts
    2,338
    Default
    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.

  5. #5
    Location
    north seattle wa
    Posts
    103
    Default 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?

  6. #6
    Location
    Duluth, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,133
    Default
    well, with that scenario - I'd be coding the 473.9
    Donna, CPC, CPC-H

  7. #7
    Location
    ENGLEWOOD/DENVER
    Posts
    2,338
    Default
    I wouldn't code it without some sort of additional information.

  8. #8
    Default sinusitis
    I code as 473.9 unless stated otherwise.

    Again, this looks like a coders choice!!!

  9. #9
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
    Posts
    4,466
    Default 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

  10. #10
    Default 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).”

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