At my group I have one coder who codes this as localized (715.3X) every time, regardless of it being specified and regardless of the medical record that say's the patient has multiple joints involved (Bilateral is included).
I use the unspecified code (715.9X) when it is not specified or if the patient has multiple joint's, but the only proof I have is an Ingenix coding lab for physician's offices which states, "The physician must document localized or generalized, or the coder should assign the unspecified code".
Does anyone know of another place where this is spelled out for the coder?
Any help would be appreciated.
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