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Gastroenterology Coding Alert

Reader Questions:

153.0-153.9 and 154.0-154.8 Are Go-To ICD-9 Codes for Colorectal Cancer

Question: When should I use a diagnosis of colorectal cancer versus a diagnosis of history of colon cancer? Should I consider the time elapsed and the patient's physical condition?Arizona SubscriberAnswer: When a colorectal cancer is present, you would use an ICD-9 code for malignant neoplasm of the large intestine (153.0-153.9 for various sites in the colon, and 154.0-154.8 for various sites in the rectum, rectosigmoid junction, and anus).Caution: As a general use, you should use this as a diagnosis only for the colonoscopy during which the original lesion is discovered or for a subsequent pre-surgical colonoscopy before the cancer is removed. You can use the same ICD-9 for immediate follow-up visits to discuss treatment options and perform additional workup. If the lesion is unresectable, you can continue to use that diagnosis for follow-up visits.After the cancer discovered during this procedure is removed and the patient returns for follow-up visits or [...]

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