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Otolaryngology Coding Alert

READER QUESTION ~ Add a 5th Digit to Your Rhinorrhea Dx

Question: What diagnosis should I use for rhinorrhea?

New York Subscriber Answer: Effective Oct. 1, 2006, you should report -rhinorrhea- with ICD-9 code 478.19 (Other diseases of nasal cavity and sinuses). This unspecified code describes -other diseases of nasal cavity and sinuses- including -rhinolith,- according to the code's inclusion entry in the 2007 ICD-9-CM Manual.

Code 478.19 is a new code for ICD-9 2007. You previously would have coded rhinorrhea as 478.1. This code now requires a fifth digit of 1 for -nasal mucositis (ulcerative)- or 9 for -other diseases.-

Tool: You can use ICD-9's tabular list to locate the appropriate code for rhinorrhea. On page 251 in -Volume 2- of the 2007 ICD-9-CM Physician Manual, you will find -Rhinorrhea 478.19.-

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