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Thread: ICD-9 coding "mass"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Greeley, Colorado

    Question ICD-9 coding "mass"

    AAPC: Back to School
    Isn't there something in writing somewhere either in the ICD-9 coding guidelines, the ICD-9 manual itself, or CMS that one should not code a "mass" as a neoplasm unless specified as such? I need to find it...if it exists.
    Lisa Bledsoe, CPC, CPMA

  2. #2


    Masses : A final diagnosis or finding of a mass is generally designated as such because further workup is needed to define the morphology.

    Meaning I cant tell you if it is a neoplasm let alone benign or malignant until a path report comes back

    here is an Oncology link. It's just a 2 page exerpt of the full manual (have to buy) but addresses mass and lymphoma


    A neoplasm is any new or abnormal growth in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled and progressive.

    A mass or lesion is not necessarily a neoplasm. Do not assign a neoplasm code unless the diagnosis documented by the physician is indexed to a neoplasm code in ICD-9-CM. For a diagnosis of “mass,” look in the Alphabetic Index under main term “mass.” If there is no subterm listed for the site you are trying to code, follow the instructions in the subterm for “specified organ NEC”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Greeley, Colorado


    Thank you!
    Lisa Bledsoe, CPC, CPMA

  4. #4

    Default updated link

    Is there an updated link? This one doesn't work for me. Thank you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbia, MO


    in the ICD-9 book under the 239 category is a note that states the term mass unless otherwise stated is not to be regarded as a neoplastic growth

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

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