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Family Practice Coding Alert

Reader Question:
Meningitis Vaccine

Question: We frequently provide meningitis vaccines to college-age students who may be at risk because they are grouped together in close quarters -- in the dorms and classrooms. Is there a code for this vaccine?

California Subscriber
Answer: The appropriate CPT codes are 90733 (meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine [any group(s)], for subcutaneous or jet injection use) and 90471 (immunization administration [includes percutaneous, intradermal, subcutaneous, intramuscular and jet injections and/or intranasal or oral administration]; one vaccine [single or combination vaccine/toxoid]).

Many coders recommend V03.89 (need for prophylactic vaccination and inoculation against bacterial diseases; other specified vaccination) as the diagnosis code because your practice is providing the vaccination as a prevention measure among a population that lives in close proximity to one another and therefore runs the risk of increased exposure.

A second possible diagnosis code is V02.59 (carrier or suspected carrier of infectious diseases; other specified bacterial disease) if your physician has reason to believe the patient is a carrier of the disease.