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Thread: dx coding for H. Pylori test, in the absence of symptoms

  1. #1

    Default dx coding for H. Pylori test, in the absence of symptoms

    AAPC: Back to School
    A patient is seen by a gastroenterologist. Because the patient is from Asia, where there is a higher prevalence of helicobacter pylori infections and gastric cancer, the physician wants to send the patient for an H. Pylori test. This patient has no symptoms, so what dx should we use when ordering the test? Would we use 041.86 - Helicobacter Pylori Infection, even though we are not sure the patient has this dx? The physician/MA are suggesting we use this code, but I don't think it is appropriate - as this test is being done in an outpatient setting. (And I reallize you can only code for the signs and symptoms in the absence of a definitive dx in an office/outpatient setting, unlike an inpatient setting where the guidelines are less stringent.)

    I cannot seem to find a screening dx that would fit with this scenario. Does anyone have a suggestion? (We also realize that this test may not be covered by the patient's insurance and will make sure he/she is aware of this before proceeding with the test.)
    Last edited by Colliemom; 07-24-2009 at 08:18 AM.

  2. #2


    I wouldn't code 041.86, but I would consider V82.89.
    Julianne Sheetz, CPC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kokomo, IN

    Default screening

    Since H pylori is a bacteria maybe V74.8?

  4. #4


    That sounds even better!
    Julianne Sheetz, CPC

  5. #5


    Thank you! I called the pt's ins. (BCBS) and I was told that the V74.8 was accepted for use with the H. Pylori test.

    I appreciate the help from both of you!

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