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angina and chest pain

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    Medical Coding Books
    Quote Originally Posted by mdunn View Post
    Chest pain is a symptom of angina. Angina is caused by decreased blood flow. If the doctor is documenting both of these condition and there is no documentation stating there is any CAD, etc. should angina or chest pain be coded. Since chest pain is a symptom of angina it wouldn't be correct to report a symptom of a specified condition. I feel the physician isn't documenting correctly and is actually using the two terms interchangeably. Sometimes they will even say atypical angina and I have confirmed that the patient really has atypical chest pain. What should I do in this situation?
    My understanding is that angina is actually an all inclusive symptom of a heart condition. Angina is or may include chest pain, chest tightness, dyscomfort etc. It also can be felt in the neck and/or shoulders, jaw etc. So, if the doc is using the term interchangably (they almost never do that ) then code angina if heart disease or other heart condition is documented. Code chest pain if no heart disease or condition is noted. You may have to refer to the patient's medical record to find that information.

    HTH
    Danny L. Peoples
    CIRCC,CPC

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