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Lumbar Facet Arthritis Diagnosis Code

Melissa Posted Fri 24th of October, 2014 14:18:31 PM

when researching codes for Lumbar Facet Osteoarthritis, I find 721.3 and 716.98. Can anyone tell me which is correct?

SuperCoder Answered Fri 24th of October, 2014 16:17:09 PM

Thanks for your question. First query your physician to determine if the terms arthopathy and spondylosis are being used interchangeably. 716.98; Unspecified arthropathy involving other specified sites. Should be used if your provider has no additional information documented. 721.3; Lumbosacral spondylosis without myelopathy may be coded if there is additional documentation or if you find that your provider is using the terms interchangeably. 721.3 includes lumbar or lumbosacral: arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondylarthritis. Hope this helps.

SuperCoder Answered Fri 24th of October, 2014 16:27:34 PM

The defination of 721.3 is lumbosacral spondylosis without myelopathy lumbar or lumbosacral, arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondylarthritis and shows greater specificity in regards to the diagnosis being specific to the lumbar/lumbarsaral area.

716.98 is used for unspecified arthropathy involving other specified sites.

You should always choose the code of greatest specificity therefore the code 721.3 should be used for the lumbar facet osteoarthritis.

Hope this helps.

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