I think the general convention in ED ICD-9 coding is to code signs and symptoms to give the payor a full view of why the patient came to the ED. This will sometimes conflict with ICD guidelines which will consider some symptoms wrapped into the final.....wheezing with asthma etc. So if you were talking to ED coders they will genrally subscribe to full symptom coding. Others would be more final dx oriented.
Hey it all changes in 2012 anyway...
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