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Thread: Septic Bursitis Elbow--Opinions

  1. #1

    Default Septic Bursitis Elbow--Opinions

    AAPC: Back to School
    I just want to clarify correct dx codes:

    What is the correct way to code the dx? Do you use Sepsis? The physician had cellulitis on the hospital FACE Sheet, but then in the op note had Septic bursitis. A lot of our physicians are not specfic and use Septic Elbow, Septic knee, etc.

    May I have everyone's opinion on how these are billed?


    Kim, CPC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbia, MO


    Go to the guidelines for coding and reporting. You will need some clarification, was the cellulitis a localized infection from the sepsis? if so you will code the infection first, 038.9 if nothing else is documented then a 995.9x code for the sepsis, then the cellulitis. The guidelines have several points to help you out when coding sepsis.

  3. #3


    I do bill as sepsis if nothing else is documented and go to the 038 series if somethign is documented. I just thought maybe there was an ICD-9 code I was missing.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbia, MO


    you cannot code sepsis without a code for the infection, the guidelines say to use 038.9 if no infective organism is identified. the 038.9 is first listed then the 995.9x.

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