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Thread: semantics: kidney vs. renal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    St. Louis

    Talking semantics: kidney vs. renal

    AAPC: Back to School
    Having taught medical terminology in the college setting, I personally consider the words "kidney" & "renal" to be synonymous.

    Most of my daily work is HCC related.
    Physicians are constantly documenting code 585.x as:
    "renal stage X"
    "renal insufficiency X"

    My fellow auditor & I are sticklers for the documentation stating exactly "CKD stage X" or "chronic kidney disease stage X". I am willing to accept documentation as "chronic renal disease stage X" although, overall I would prefer the aforementioned. My co-worker, however, disagrees saying that the documentation SHOULD read exactly as stated in the ICD-9. & I understand where she is coming from, but I know that the physicians will also fight us on these semantics saying that renal means the same as kidney.

    Thoughts? Is there a website anywhere we can refer to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Definition of Renal
    Renal: Having to do with the kidney. From the Latin renes (the kidneys),

    While I agree it would be awesome if doctors used only terms in the ICD-9 book, that is a dream that will never come true! And quite frankly an unreasonable one with the way dx are listed in ICD-9 compared to the way we speak.

    Good example of a similar code situation, patient is riding their bike wrecks and gets hurt. You need an E code to avoid getting rejected by insurance for auto info.

    E826.1 Pedal cycle accident injuring pedal cyclist

    We all know this means bike, but based on your co-workers logic you couldn't use this code.

    Just my thoughts,

    Laura, CPC, CEMC

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