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Orthopedic Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Scoliosis Exams

Question: Our orthopedists often see children for scoliosis screenings. The doctor writes "normal exam" for the diagnosis because he states there are no symptoms or problems. Should we use V codes for the diagnosis? Wisconsin Subscriber Answer: The answer depends on whether your practice performs routine scoliosis screening exams for the school system, or whether you examine children whom the school system identified as having a spinal curve. If your exams are considered "screening," you should report V82.89 (Special screening for other specified conditions). If the school, parents or another physician suspects that the patient actually has scoliosis, report V71.89 (Observation for other specified suspected conditions).

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