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Thread: When to use a "V" code....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default When to use a "V" code....

    AAPC: Back to School
    Someone asked me when would be a proper time for a Pathologist to use a V10.3 diagnosis code. We have a patient who had breast cancer. She came in much later and had a sentinal node removed. The sentinal node was negative for neoplasm, but we want to use the V10.3. There is a question as to how long after you've had breast cancer, can you start to use the V10.3 code. The question was is it 2 or 5 years? I can't find anything that says there is a time limit requirement to use the code. Anyone have any definitive information?????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Louisville, KY


    Check your ICD guidelines that say something to the effect that if the lesion/tumor is excised, treatment (chemo, rad, etc) has ended, then the history code is appropriate.

    Once you have a history, you always have a history . . . so a v-code for that history can be used as long as it is pertinent to the medical decison making of the provider.

    I hope this clarifies matters for you.
    Kevin B. Shields, RHIT, CPCO, CCS, CPC, COC, CCS-P, CPC-P, CPC-I

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I work in Oncology and there is no cut and dried rule on when they are "History" of a cancer. We use 3 years from last date of treatment for our patients.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Post Only have 2007 manuals or else I could be of more help

    V codes are used to report anything but disease or injury.

    I would check the ICD guidelines, like Kevin said. Faye brown clarifies how to code this condition, but in a facility mythology. I would help you code this, but I don't have 2008 manuals and coding handbooks, and since there are more coding updates in 2008 than in the past 15 years of coding history......
    Last edited by 007CPC; 04-05-2008 at 01:04 PM.

  5. #5


    Ah the Ol "V" code ..

    My supervisor told me to always use the Vcode if it is diffently some importance to the patients health now. I think for this situation it would be a great idea to use this V code. Maybe not for the primary DX but diffently in their somewhere. I am sure the insurance company will need to know it. Plus, it doesn't hurt to use a V Code as long as it goes with the patients health issues now.

    EX: Patient had breast cancer, she had a mastectomy to her leeft breast, she currently doesn't have breast cancer, but she goes in every year for her mammogram...
    List your Primary Dx's and then towards the end
    V10.3, V45.71

    EX: Patient is on constant anti coagulant therapy and he is in the hospital for heart failure.
    Primarys Dxs and then at the End

    EX: Patient had CVA 2 years ago without any complications, today he comes in with altered mental status and hemiplegia to the right side.
    primary dx: and then towards the end

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