Anesthesia Coding Alert

Pain Management: Diagnosis 847.0? Follow Therapy Progression to Correct Whiplash Coding


- Published on Wed, Feb 02, 2011

Watch for scans, TPIs, and more as treatment options intensify.

Coding for whiplash diagnosis and treatment is usually pretty straightforward, but don't be too complacent. Be on the look out for situations when the patient's symptoms persist despite conservative therapy and warrant more extensive treatment. Missing these diagnoses can mean missed pay.

Watch for Move From Therapy to Scans

When a patient presents with whiplash symptoms, your pain management specialist will conduct a thorough exam and will often order neck x-rays to rule out fractures.

First steps: Once the pain specialist diagnoses whiplash (847.0, Sprains and strains of other and unspecified parts of back; neck sprain), he typically will prescribe conservative treatment. Common options include physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and muscle relaxants. Some patients may also benefit from wearing a soft cervical collar or by using a portable traction device.

If conservative treatment fails, the physician might order additional diagnostic imaging tests. These [...]

Anesthesia Coding Alert
Issue - Feb, 2011
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