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ICD-9 code for Zoned out

SuperCoder Posted Tue 22nd of September, 2009 09:05:13 AM

A 55-year-old patient reports to the ED, saying that for the past three weeks, he has “zoned out” for no reason several times, but did not lose consciousness during any of the episodes. The physician provides a level three E/M, diagnoses “episodic abnormality of consciousness; etiology uncertain,” and refers the patient to a neurologist. Which ICD-9 codes apply to this condition?

Linda Answered Thu 25th of March, 2010 06:55:54 AM

Was zoned out the patients chief complaint? Did the patient complain of any other signs or symptoms? If not then I would code '780.97' altered mental status. However, if your ER docs are amenable to answering queries I would query stating that there isn't a specific code for abnormalit of consciousness, would 7'780.97' alterend mental status describe the patient's condtion. Linda

SuperCoder Answered Thu 25th of March, 2010 09:19:09 AM

If the ER doc's report does not mention about any other condition, I think you can go with 780.09 for "zoned out". There is no specific ICD code for this particular Dx statement.

SuperCoder Answered Thu 25th of March, 2010 09:30:08 AM

According to ICD-9, use 780.02 (Alteration of consciousness; transient alteration of awareness) when a patient experiences “temporary, recurring spells of reduced consciousness.” Given your description, this is the best diagnosis for the patient. On the claim, report 99283 with 780.02 appended.

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