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Thread: Influenza-Like Illness

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SE Minnesota

    Default Influenza-Like Illness

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    There is controversy over Influenza-Like Illness coding. In the Index of the ICD-9 book, there is a listing for Influenza-Like disease which leads to 487.1, but 487.1 is in the Influenza section and I am not sure that is what it was intended for.

    How can you have an Influenza-Like Illness and be using Influenza as a diagnosis? Isn't that sort of misleading?

    I don't expect an answer to those questions, but I am wondering what other people are using to code a diagnosis for patients who are presenting with Influenza like symptoms, but aren't getting a definite diagnosis of Influenza and the Provider is documenting a diagnosis of Influenza-Like Illness?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.


  2. #2


    We have been using 079.89 Other specified viral infection.

    Jessica Harrell, CPC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default Code symptoms

    I would not use 079.89 ... which is for a SPECIFIED viral illness. To use this code you must KNOW that this is a viral illness, and KNOW which virus is the cause, but that SPECIFIED virus is not listed in ICD9 with its own code.

    I don't have my book handy ... but I would follow ICD9 ... if it leads me to the influenza section, then that's what I'm intended to code.

    If you are completely uncomfortable with that, then code the signs / symptoms (fever, chills, cough, etc)

    Hope that helps.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I agree with Tessa. Today I coded one case with symptom (nasal congestion 478.19) Doctor wrote "flu like symptoms". Book says some respiratory problems (I don't remember exactly what text) which I didn't feel comfortable with that code.

  5. #5


    Influenza-like illness (ILI) is a nonspecific respiratory illness characterized by fever, fatigue, cough, and other symptoms that stop within a few days, it is also known as acute Upper respiratory infection (ARI). Technically, any clinical diagnosis of influenza is a diagnosis of ILI, not of influenza, until the path confirms as influenza. So in this case we can go with the ICD-9 code 465.9.
    Last edited by Manas maity; 10-07-2009 at 11:35 PM.
    B.Pharma, CPC-H

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