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Trauma vs. Injury codes

  1. #1
    Default Trauma vs. Injury codes
    Medical Coding Books

    We have been told that we should NOT be using the injury codes (959.*) when the report just states trauma. I disagree with this, because when you see trauma in the ICD-9 it says see also Injury....

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this. We are told to use V71.4

    Thank you in advance...

  2. Default
    I work in a level 1 trauma center and we use 959 series, with the appropriate E code if needed. The billing company uses 959 series and the MVC E code as a filter to get first in line for the PIP insurance before it gets exhausted by other departments. Saying just trauma is rather vague; Use the upcoming ICD 10 for impetus to train the referring docs and schedulers for more specificity. PIP pays very well.
    Some insurance companies (and our state medicaid) has rejected V codes in the primary dx position.

  3. #3
    I do ED coding and also use the 959 codes with the applicable E code or codes. While not specific as to the nature of the injury (laceration, burn, etc.), the 959 codes do provide more information than V71.4.
    Karen Davis, CPC, COC

  4. #4
    Default Trauma Codes
    I code for the professional component of radiology. If the patient has no signs or symptoms indicated related to the trauma, we bill V71.4 unless a definitive diagnosis is provided in the impression. If a symptom is listed, we use the symptom(s) along with the appropriate 959.xx code.

    Patricia Murrin, CPC, RCC

  5. #5
    Columbia, MO
    V71.4 is for a condition not found, it would be when an injury is suspected but not found on exam. We have used it when a patient is brought to the ER after a roll over accident but after exam there is nothing wrong with the patient. If the patient has any symptoms such as pain or contusion you would not use this code.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

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