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Thread: Sepsis - When coding sepsis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Sepsis - When coding sepsis

    AAPC: Back to School
    When coding sepsis on a report. Do I have to use both codes 038.9 and 995.91?

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Greeley, Colorado

    Default Yes

    Yes, according to the ICD-9-CM coding guidelines (Chapter C "sequencing sepsis").
    Lisa Bledsoe, CPC, CPMA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbia, MO


    Yes according to the guidelines 995.91 is secondary to the organism and if no organism is specified then we use 038.9 as the first-listed code.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Thank you very much for the responses.

  5. #5


    what is the rule when sequencing sepsis and severe sepsis is

    thanks, help

  6. #6



    1. Sepsis is SIRS due to infectious process
    2. Severe sepsis is with organ dysfuntion.
    3. Septic Shock - SIRS with hypotension.

    ICD codes and Sequencing of codes:

    1. Sepsis - Requires two codes in the order - 038.X and 995.91
    2. Severe Sepsis - Requires 3 codes - 038.X, 995.92 and specify code for Organ failure (e.g - with resp.failure - 038.X, 995.92 and 518.81)
    3. Septic Shock - Requires four codes -
    a. first code the etilogy - infectious process or due to trauma
    b. Then either - 995.92 or 995.94
    c. Then code to the organ failure
    d. And then 785.52

    Hope this helps,

    Thank You,

    Purnima S, CPC

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