The difference between NEC and NOS is very specific and not to be confused as they are two very different abbreviations.
NEC - When a specific code is not available for a condition, the Index directs the coder to the “other specified” code in the Tabular List. NEC is used to indicate the diagnosis is specific; however, the coding system is not specific enough.
Example: Alphabetical Index
Specified NEC H26.8 Tabular List
H26.8 - Other specified cataract
NOS “Not otherwise specified” This abbreviation is the equivalent of unspecified, indicating the documentation does not provide enough information to assign a more specific code.
Example: Tabular List
I50.9 - Heart failure, unspecified
Biventricular (heart) failure NOS
Cardiac, heart or myocardial failure NOS
Congestive heart disease
Congestive heart failure NOS
Right ventricular failure
(secondary to left heart failure)
ICD-10 Guidelines: Abbreviations
a. Alphabetic Index abbreviations
NEC “Not elsewhere classifiable” This abbreviation n the Alphabetic Index represents “other specified”. When a specific code is not available or a condition the Alphabetic Index directs the coder to the “other specified” code in the Tabular List
NOS “Not otherwise specified “This abbreviation is the equivalent of unspecified.
b. Tabular List abbreviations
NEC “Not elsewhere classifiable” This abbreviation in the Tabular List represents “other specified”. When a specific code is not available for a condition the Tabular List includes an NEC entry under a code to identify he code as the “other specified” code.
NOS “Not otherwise specified” This abbreviation is the equivalent of unspecified.
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