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Thread: coding renal insufficiency

  1. #1

    Question coding renal insufficiency

    AAPC: Back to School
    Good Afternoon

    What is the proper coding for the following scenario: The physician documents that the patient has Renal Insufficiency but does not specify if acute or chronic.

    In the ICD9 - Index for Diseases, Insufficiency, renal, - the code next to renal is 593.9

    I know some who code as 593.9 and others say anytime the physician does not specify acute or chronic to code as a chronic condition - so to code this scenario 585.9. (and also that 593.9 lists "acute" in the Tabular)

    Is there a guideline to code as chronic if doesn't specify acute or chronic.

    Thank you

  2. #2


    To my understanding if a condition is not stated as being chronic it cannot be coded as chronic. I would code it as acute 593.9, especially if there is no documentation supporting a chronic condition.

  3. #3

    Default renal insufficiency

    Use code 593.9. Remember the coding rule...."if it's not documented, it's not done!" Since the physician did not state acute or chronic, it should NOT be coded as acute or chronic.

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