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Obesity coding

Susquehanna Valley Posted Mon 16th of March, 2015 09:42:43 AM


This subject is new to me as I just began coding for Gastroenterology/General Surgery this past year.

My doctor is new to our practice; in a previous practice this physician's specialty was performing bariatric surgery.

Anyway, he is beginning to follow a patient for a possible bariatric surgery some time down the road.

When a patient comes in and he is monitoring her weigh-loss, diet, and exercise is it okay to code just 278.01 as primary diagnosis along with the patient's BMI!

I know that the patient is supposed to be seen by the physician for several months before a surgery such as this occurs so I want to be sure I am coding this correctly.

SuperCoder Answered Mon 16th of March, 2015 11:01:13 AM

Thanks for your question. Yes it would be correct to code 278.01 and the appropriate BMI. Your diagnosis coding will have to be supported by the physician's documentation. If obesity is the only reason that the patient is being seen, obesity and the appropriate BMI code will be your only choice in diagnosis assignment. Hope this helps.

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