AAPC - Back to school
Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Paring of principal diagnosis with surgery

  1. #1

    Question Paring of principal diagnosis with surgery

    AAPC: Back to School
    If a patient is admitted with abdominal pain and respiratory symptoms after careful study the patient the patient is diagnosed with pneumonia and acute appendicitis and has an appendectomy. Is there a rule that states you must use the principal diagnosis that is associated with the surgery? Or can you code pneumonia as the prinicpal diagnosis and use the other codes to code the surgery?

  2. #2


    Your principle dx should be the presenting problem. I assume your surgeon was consulted or admitted the patient for the abdominal pain which turned out to be acute appendicitis. The appendicitis should be your primary dx with the pneumonia being secondary as this would be considered a co-morbidity. You should always use the "reason" for the visit/surgery as the primary dx.

Similar Threads

  1. diagnosis codes allowed for paring and cutting?
    By ziadollface in forum Billing/Reimbursement
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-19-2015, 11:27 PM
  2. What is the principal diagnosis?
    By MrsAllen07 in forum Diagnosis Coding
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-17-2014, 11:17 AM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-23-2014, 08:26 PM
  4. principal diagnosis
    By ringalls in forum Diagnosis Coding
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-04-2009, 08:49 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Enjoying Our Forums?

AAPC forums are a benefit of membership. Joining AAPC grants you unlimited access, allowing you to post questions and participate with our community of over 150,000 professionals.

Join Now Continue Reading Without Full Access

Already a Member?


Close Message

In addition to full participation on AAPC forums, as a member you will be able to:

  • Access to the largest healthcare job database in the world.
  • Join over 150,000 members of the healthcare network in the world.
  • Be a part of an industry leading organization that drives the business side of healthcare.
  • Save anywhere from 10%-50% with exclusive member discounts on courses, books, study materials, and conferences.
  • Access to discounts at hundreds of restaurants, travel destinations, retail stores, and service providers. AAPC members also have opportunities to save on heath, life, and liability insurance.
  • Become a member of a local chapter and attend regular meetings.