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Thread: Acute versus Chronic

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Acute versus Chronic

    AAPC: Back to School
    I have a diagnosis of Maxillary Sinus Disease. If the report does not state if its acute or chronic and both dx codes state acute-461.0 and chronic 473.0, which would you code?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Woodland Hills, CA


    I would query the physician.
    "The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure."

  3. #3


    also see if their is any other visits for this as well because if patient has had maxillay disease it could be chronic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Post Acute

    Depending on the environment of the coder’s position, if possible, do what Imartirosyan and bettyboopsandy said. Otherwise any disease substantiated without a definitive description of “Acute” and/or “Chronic” the condition should be coded as Acute. Sometimes coders work in the context where the coding manager is so busy they don’t have time to attenuate to such rudimentary questions which is why allot of coders abide by this saying:

    “Acute can still be present in a chronic context which is why when both disease statuses are documented you list Acute as principal and Chronic as secondary”.
    Quote: Faye Brown ICD-9-CM coding handbook
    . Some words are rearranged.

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