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Thread: chronic alcohol abuse vs. alcoholic dependence

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Question chronic alcohol abuse vs. alcoholic dependence

    AAPC: Back to School
    How do you code someone who is a chronic alcohol abuser? 305.01 is for alcohol abuse but the "305" category says "nondependent"? Isn't someone who is a chronic abuser dependent and put under 303.91- for "alcohol dependent with continuous use?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default Dependence is a medical term

    ONLY the physician can specify dependence.

    If the physician states alcohol abuse, then do NOT use 303x codes. Even if this is the thousandth time the patient has presented with this diagnosis. (exaggeration for effect)

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

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