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Ophthalmology Coding Alert

ICD-10 :

Watch H54 Family for Streamlined Visual Impairment Coding

Choose from 17 codes for blindness, low vision conditions in either eye.

While the enormity of making the transition to ICD-10 can seem overwhelming, the new system makes coding many conditions easier and more specific. Case in point: In ICD-10, you need to choose from only 17 codes for blindness and low vision, compared to the 45 codes in this ICD-9 category.

When your patient is diagnosed with a visual impairment, look to H54.-- (Blindness and low vision). The codes in the H54.-- category break down as follows:

  • H54.0 – Blindness, both eyes
  • H54.10 – Blindness, one eye, low vision other eye, unspecified eyes
  • H54.11 – Blindness, right eye, low vision left eye
  • H54.12 – Blindness, left eye, low vision right eye
  • H54.3 – Unqualified visual loss, both eyes
  • H54.40 – Blindness, one eye, unspecified eye
  • H54.41 – Blindness, right eye, normal vision left eye
  • H54.42 – Blindness, left eye, normal vision right eye
  • H54.50 – Low vision, one eye, unspecified eye
  • H54.51 – Low vision, right eye, normal vision left eye
  • H54.52 – Low vision, left eye, normal vision right eye
  • H54.60 – Unqualified visual loss, one eye, unspecified
  • H54.61 – Unqualified visual loss, right eye, normal vision left eye
  • H54.62 – Unqualified visual loss, left eye, normal vision right eye
  • H54.7 – Unspecified visual loss
  • H54.8 – Legal blindness, as defined in USA.

Don’t Miss Sequencing Rules

When reporting that your patient has a visual impairment, you should also list a code that describes the reason for the vision problem. In ICD-10, you’re asked to sequence any associated underlying cause of blindness before the H54.-- code.

Note: Visual acuity with best possible correction means with glasses with best possible correction.