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chronic alcohol abuse vs. alcoholic dependence

  1. #1
    Question chronic alcohol abuse vs. alcoholic dependence
    Medical Coding Books
    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
    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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