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Thread: Calculating BMI

  1. #1

    Default Calculating BMI

    AAPC: Back to School
    At National Convention the speaker hinted that coders can calculate BMI based on height and weight and code it when documented by a nurse or nutritionist AS LONG AS THE PROVIDER HAS DOCUMENTED THE EXISTANCE OF OBESITY. Does anyone have any further documentation/proof of this? I know guidelines states we can code BMI when documented by another provider but I don't see where it states we can "calculate" it...?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Charleston, WV


    A speaker at a conference I attended in 2008 said the opposite, that the coder should never calculate the BMI. However, this speaker didn't provide any documentation or references to back that up.

  3. #3

    Default Calculating BMI

    Thanks! I did find a good article on this from hcPro at:
    Which states the coder should NEVER calculate BMI...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbia, MO


    The coder cannot under any circumstance calculate the BMI, however in the coding guidelines it will tell you that the coder may obtain the documentation of the BMI from any qualified medical person and it does not have to come from the physician , so a nurse or PT, or nutitionist is fine. The physician must document the level of obesity, ie obese, overweight, morbid obese. The BMI must then be consistent with the level of obesity documented.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

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