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Thread: "Consistent with.."

  1. #1

    Default "Consistent with.."

    AAPC: Back to School
    If a diagnosis for an office visit comes across with the term "consistent with", are you picking it up as if it's a confirmed dx? Or any outpatient type of service for that matter. Example......"Patient has infiltrates consistent with pneumonia", or "Symptoms consistent with Angina".....Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default No

    Only definitive diagnoses can be coded for physician services.

    So if the only diagnosis is "symptoms consistent with angina" you have to code the symptoms (probably chest pain).

    Hope that helps.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Greeley, Colorado


    ICD-9 coding guidelines Section IV letter I instructs "Do not code diagnoses documented as "probable", "questionable", "rule out", or "working diagnosis" or other similar termis indicating uncertainty. Rather, code the condition(s) to the highest degree of certainty for that encounter such as symptoms, signs, abnormal test results, or other reason for the visit". I would include "consistent with" in this category as it is not definitive and therefore code signs/symptoms.
    Lisa Bledsoe, CPC, CPMA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbus GA


    I totally agree since I see that alot in Radiology....use the signs and symptoms!

  5. #5


    Thanks for all the reply's, it certainly helps eliminate any additional confusion here!

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