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When to code drug dependence

  1. Question When to code drug dependence
    Exam Training Packages
    I am looking for input on whether or not you can code drug dependence (opioid or other addictive drugs) if the drug is a prescribed medication for chronic pain or other reasons. Can it be considered drug dependence if a member is on chronic long-term drugs if they are prescribed? Thank you!

  2. Default Drug Dependance
    You should never code drug dependance for for anything unless it is specifically documented by the physician. A patient may well be addicted to a prescription and be managed by the doctor, however you never want to assign drug abuse codes or dependance unless the doctor has the documentaion to back it up.

  3. #3
    Columbia, MO
    I agree, just because a patient has a chronic condition which requires medication for management is not the same thing as drug dependence, so do not code unless the physician specifically documents this.

  4. Default
    That is how we have been looking at it too. The next question is if the provider indicates a diagnosis as "opioid dependence" in the note and the patient is on prescribed opiates, can we code it as dependence?

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