Can someone please clear up how to code contrasting or comparative diagnoses in the inpatient setting? According to the coding guidelines "In those rare instances when two or more contrasting or comparative diagnoses are documented as "either/or" (or similar terminology), they are coded as if the diagnoses were confirmed and the diagnoses are sequenced according to the circumstances of the admission. If no further determination can be made as to which diagnosis should be principal, either diagnosis may be sequenced first."

My question is, does this only apply when coding from the discharge summary? I'm new to inpatient coding and I've been given some conflicting information about this.

Thanks for your help!