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Atelectasis - Outpatient coding

  1. #1
    Default Atelectasis - Outpatient coding
    Medical Coding Books
    Hello everyone,

    One of my doctors (pulmonologist) notes that Atelectasis as a finding. I'm pretty sure this can only be diagnosed in the hospital setting. Am I right?

    Thank you,

    Chaim Zeitz, CPC

  2. #2
    Default Atelectasis
    Definition. By Mayo Clinic Staff. Atelectasis (at-uh-LEK-tuh-sis) — a complete or partial collapse of a lung or lobe of a lung — develops when the tiny air sacs (alveoli) within the lung become deflated. It's a breathing (respiratory) complication after surgery.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by micobo69 View Post
    Definition. By Mayo Clinic Staff. Atelectasis (at-uh-LEK-tuh-sis) — a complete or partial collapse of a lung or lobe of a lung — develops when the tiny air sacs (alveoli) within the lung become deflated. It's a breathing (respiratory) complication after surgery.
    That doesn't answer my question. Can it only be coded in the inpatient setting, or can it also be coded in the outpatient setting?

  4. #4
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    It can be a finding in any setting. I am wonder why you are questioning the diagnosis, is there something else in the documentation that makes you think this is inaccurate?

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellde View Post
    It can be a finding in any setting. I am wonder why you are questioning the diagnosis, is there something else in the documentation that makes you think this is inaccurate?
    My boss told me Coding Clinic says it can be only be coded in the inpatient setting. Since our company will not buy us coding clinic, I just wanted a second opinion, because the doctors keep documenting Atelectasis.

    Same with DVT. They keep documenting Acute DVT, or just DVT. I work in the outpatient setting. In the case of DVT, I always down code it to Z86.718, unless I am able to query them and they tell me it hasn't resolved yet, and it is being treated with an anticoagulant to help break it up further after fibrinolytic therapy (if it did not completely break it up).

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