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Thread: To code or not to code

  1. #1

    Question To code or not to code

    AAPC: Back to School
    Patient came into the ER for abdominal pain. The history states chronic pancreatitis.
    The final diagnosis is Acute abdominal pain, anemia, alcohol intoxication.

    Should the chronic pancreatitis be coded since it's not in the diagnosis? If so, do I still code the acute abdominal pain?

    Julianne Sheetz, CPC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Bangor, Maine


    It's up to you, really. This is a matter of debate with this particular issue but ultimately, it's up to the coder. If it is not documented as a final dx, I personally, would not. Some opinions would differ. It states in the official guidelines that you are allowed to code any other chronic illnesses that a patient may have. Abdominal pain is typically a sign & symptom of a disease and signs & symptoms should not be used when a definitive dx is found, but since he didn't give you one, you can go with it. Maybe a history code would be better in this scenerio.

  3. #3


    Thanks Leslie.
    Julianne Sheetz, CPC

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