There appears to be a discrepancy in the Alphabetic Index for aspiration bronchitis. When referencing “bronchitis” with subentry “aspiration,” the Index refers coding professionals to code J68.0, Bronchitis and pneumonitis due to chemicals, gases, fumes and vapors. However, when the term “aspiration” is referenced with the subentry “bronchitis,” the Index refers coding professionals to code J69.0, Pneumonitis due to inhalation of food and vomit. What is the appropriate code assignment for aspiration bronchitis, not further specified?
According to clinicians, aspiration bronchitis is more commonly caused by aspiration of food rather than aspiration of gases. Therefore, code J69.0, Pneumonitis due to inhalation of food and vomit, is a more appropriate code assignment than code J68.0. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics has agreed to address the inconsistencies in the Index to Diseases through the ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance process.