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Part B Insider (Multispecialty) Coding Alert


Plan Ahead for New Parallel Upper and Lower Extremity Embolism Coding

Is 'unspecified' your go-to code? You'll need to check your choices. Lower extremity embolism codes got a facelift in 2005, and upper extremity coding will be playing catch up in 2010. But to keep things consistent, the lower extremity codes will be seeing updates, too, with new concepts such as acute and chronic options. Check it out: As you saw in the Insider, Vol. 10, No. 17, CMS has offered a sneak peak at the added, deleted, and revised codes you'll need to know when ICD-9 2010 goes into effect Oct. 1, 2009. Clue in to Why 453.x Wins the Popularity Contest In 2009, your coding options are 451.0-451.9 (Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis) and 453.0-453.9 (Other venous embolism and thrombosis). Problem: "Thrombophlebitis is a term that is now rarely used, due to the lack of clinical significance of 'phlebitis,'" according to Patrick Romano, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and pediatrics at University of [...]