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Thread: trauma due to death of a family member

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Albany, New York

    Default trauma due to death of a family member

    AAPC: Back to School
    I have a patient who was seen in our office for anxiety due to the tragic death of his fiance's son due to a train accident. The patient is seeking relief. The Dr. coded the visit as 300.00 anxiety. I feel there is more to be coded such as the reason for the anxiety, but I am unable to locate the code(s) I am looking for.Can anyone help. Thank you

  2. #2

    Smile Trauma due to death in the family

    The following codes may be what you're looking for. But first, run them by the physician. This information was provided by: Ingenix's 2009 Expert
    ICD-9-CM for Hospitals - Volumes 1, 2 & 3

    1) Code 309.0 - Description: Adjustment disorder with depressed mood - Grief Reaction

    2) Code 309.28 - Description: Adjustment disorder with mixed axiety and depressed mood

    3) 309.81 - Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - Description: Preoccupation with traumatic events beyond normal experience. i.e., rape, personal assault, combat, natural disasters, accidents, torture precipitate disorder, also recurring flashbacks of trauma; symptoms include difficulty remembering, sleeping, or concentrating, and guilt feelings for surviving.

    I hope this is helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Duluth, Minnesota


    nope...I wouldn't code anything "more" into that dx... it is what the doctor states ....hopefully this person will make it through it ok, but right now - there's a bit of anxiety due to what has happened. I wouldn't be giving anybody a "depression" dx, unless the provider states it directly. I'd go with anxiety and leave it at that - you don't need anything more. 300.00 does not state "code underlying problem" or "use additional code"...
    300.00 is enough.

    in my opinion.
    Donna, CPC, CPC-H

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    New Orleans, LA


    I'm not against an adjustment order code if the documentation supports it and I would probably go with grief reaction assuming that's the underlying cause. Anxiety tells me the patient is worried he or she may share the same fate rather than going through a sense of loss.

    Also, depressed mood is not the same as depression if the dx is adjustment disorder.

    The documentation should support the code either way.

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