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ICD 10 Coding Alert

General Surgery:

Expand Options for Newborn Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Fourth digit adds detail.

No matter the details, you have just one code to describe newborn respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) under ICD-9 — 769 (Respiratory distress syndrome in newborn).

That will change once ICD-10 goes into effect on Oct. 1 this year.

Look for Detail

Although ICD-9 lists several distinct diagnoses that code 769 includes, the existing diagnosis code set doesn’t provide a way to distinguish the following “included” conditions: 

  • Cardiorespiratory distress syndrome of newborn
  • Hyaline membrane disease (pulmonary)
  • Idiopathic respiratory distress syndrome [IRDS or RDS] of newborn
  • Pulmonary hypoperfusion syndrome.

In contrast, ICD-10 does provide different codes for some of these conditions. You’ll choose one of the following codes under ICD-10:

  • P22.0 — Respiratory distress syndrome of newborn
  • P22.1 — Transient tachypnea of newborn
  • P22.8 — Other respiratory distress of newborn
  • P22.9 — Respiratory distress of newborn, unspecified.

Notice that 769 excludes transient tachypnea of newborn, because ICD-9 includes a different code for that condition — 770.6 (transient tachypnea of newborn). In contrast, ICD-10 includes transient newborn tachypnea as a type of respiratory distress syndrome

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