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Thread: out of control hypertension

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Harrisburg, PA

    Default out of control hypertension

    AAPC: Back to School
    What is the correct code for out of control hypertension? My physicians use this code quite frequently, and I have been using 401.0, but I am not sure if that is what I should be using. Please help. Thanks so much!


  2. #2


    In order to use 401.0 it must state malignant. If it does not, you have no choice but to use 401.9.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbus GA


    Unfortunately 401.9 is used more since we do not get specifics from physicians. But the 401.0 for HTN uncontrolled was definitely incorrect unless it was malignant.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    AHA Coding Clinic

    Subcategories in ICD-9-CM designated for systemic hypertension indicate the nature of hypertension, ie benign, malignant, or unspecified. Attributes of maliginant hypertension include rapidly rising blood pressure, usually in excess of 140 mm Hg diastolic with findings of visual impairement and symptoms or signs of progressive cardiac failure. If the patient does not receive adequate treatment , severe visual loss with hemorrhage, exudates and papilledema may ensue, and death may occure due to uremia, cardiac failure or cerberal hemorrhage The presence of papilledema with hypertension by definition is coded to malignant hypertension. Assign the fourth digit '9' when the physician does not document the primary or secondary hypertension as either benign or malignant. Educate the medical staff of the need for stating the hypertension as being either benign or malignant

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