I was always taught that you always code current tear (836.0/836.1) unless the surgeon specifically states that it is a degenerative tear(717.X series).
I had a real hard time doing this for many years and argued and argued, and was noncompliant with what I had learned because I didnt want to give the patient an "injury" diagnosis...then one day....I was DINGED in an audit!!
The example given was basically stating that if you always code degenerative, you are giving the patient a dx/disease they may or may not have.
Hope this helps,
Mary, CPC, COSC
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