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Consistent or Compatible with

  1. Default Consistent or Compatible with
    Medical Coding Books
    I've always heard that we can utilize the phrase in our radiology reports that indicate compatible or consistent with for our diagnosis codes. However cannot code probable, suspected, likely, ect. I am looking for a source/guideline that indicates this....anyone have one?


  2. Default Consistent with/compatible with
    We should never code consistent with and compatible with, you will find the source document for this in the following patheway -

  3. #3
    Columbia, MO
    Also in the official guidelines for coding and reporting there is an entire section regarding possible dx.

    Debra Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  4. Default
    I do see in coding guidelines of ICD-9 manual under Section IV I. Uncertain Diagnosis it states:

    "Do not code diagnoses documented as "probable", "suspected", "questionable", "rule out", or "working diagnosis" or other similar terms indicating uncertainty."

    But I've always been told that "compatible or consistent with" does not meet the defintion of "uncertainty" and can be coding. It has made sense to me in coding radiology services--the reports normally indicate findings are consistent/compatible with...
    Last edited by kellilynn; 06-29-2009 at 09:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Default consistent or compatible
    I was always told that consistent and compatible, mean that it "could be" or it "could be something similar" so therefore, it's not saying that is the diagnosis, just that it's compatible with. What happens is that sometimes in radiology and pathology, the Dr. reading the specimen/X-ray, doesn't or can't make a definitive diagnosis without further information, but it may look like, act like a certain diagnosis, they will usually say something to the nature of "need clinical diagnosis". they don't always, but I never code these terms because they are not definitive. To me, (my opinion) they mean the same thing as probable.

  6. Default
    Apparently the Coding Clinic (or whatever the AMA's ICD9 publication is called) put out an article that said consistent with is not codeable. I think compatible with was always uncertain. But I find it interesting that the AMA didn't update the official diagnosis guidelines with the term consistent with in their ICD9 book since it's been widely used in radiology. We documented in our Board Minutes that our doctors mean a definite diagnosis when they use the term consistent with.

    Diane Huston, CPC,RCC

  7. #7
    Columbia, MO
    The AMA does not create the ICD-9 guidelines, those are created by the CDC, and the cooperating parties, the same folks that create the ICD-9 codes. I agree the terms consistent with or compatable to should be in there but they are also using the terms they selected as representative of uncertanty not all inclusive. So basically any term or phrase that indicates uncertanty is something we cannot codeunless we work in the inpatient facility setting.

  8. Default Consistent/compatible
    I'm in a radiology practice and we have been told not to code with those "words", also appears to be, evidence of aren't supposed to be used. I was dinged on corporate audits for using "consistent with," so haven't used it since.

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