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Thread: acute vs chronic bronchitis dx code?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hartford, CT

    Default acute vs chronic bronchitis dx code?

    AAPC: Back to School
    if it is not stated how do you know when a patient has acute or chronic bronchitis? i believe the doc has to state it or how do you know? feedback please, i would be more comfortable to code non specific code unless stated, i have been told to go to more specific code and to pull it out of exam.

    i don't have an M.D. after my name and i believe it should be stated by doc. what does everyone else think?

    This is for Emergency Medicine Department.

    Pat A. Trautner, CCS/CPC/CEDC/CHONC

  2. #2


    since the Doc has not stated has acute or chronic bronchitis? we can go head by coding the unspecified for bronchitis 490

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default 490 is the correct answer!


    Yes. You are correct. We cannot come to conclusion about the patient without the documentation. Physician have to document about the patient condition. If it is not documented then it is not done.

    I will explain you with example ie. bronchits.

    Bronchitis - It may be Acute or Chronic. Per ICD for bronchitis we have three set of codes. One is for Acute bronchitis(466.0), Second one is for Chronic Bronchitis(491.9) and the third one is for Unspecified bronchitis(490). Your doc should support to give either acute or chronic, If your doc doesn't support then we have to goahead with the Unspecified Bronchitis.

    For this bronchits we have an option for unspecified bronchits, so we no need to worry about to give unspecified bronchits(490).

    Instead of Bronchitis now we will take Sinusitis, it may be chronic or acute. But for this condition we don't have unspecified sinusitis code separately. Per ICD, 473.9 is the sinusitis code.

    Hope it will help you!

    B.T.RamKumar, CPC.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I agree with the above coders if the doc. simply states bronchitis...code 490. It should be documented as acute or chronic in order to be coded that way.

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