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Ob-Gyn Coding Alert

Coding Warning:

Avoid 644.21 For Induced Labor Scenarios

AHA Coding Clinic clarifies why you shouldn't make this mistake. If your ob-gyn sees a patient who requires induced labor, you might be tempted to report 644.21 (Early onset of delivery, delivered, with or without mention of antepartum condition). However, you should not report this code -- because the labor is induced and not premature. Remember: "Premature labor" means that uterine contractions begin at weeks 20-36 of the patient's pregnancy. "Induced labor" means that labor is brought on by mechanical other extraneous means, usually by the intravenous infusion of oxytocin. Example: Suppose a patient with twins (at 34 weeks) underwent a sonogram, and the ob-gyn diagnosed the first baby with oligohydramnios and the second baby with IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation). The ob-gyn admits the patient to labor and delivery, so that he can induce her labor. Due to IUGR, he uses Cervidil, and the patient gives birth to twins by normal [...]

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