AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-9 - 2013 Issue 1; Ask the Editor - ICD-9-CM Coding

Emaciated/Emaciation without Documented Malnutrition

Can we report the code for emaciation (code 261), if the physician only documents emaciated? Some coders do not feel that it is appropriate to report code 261, Nutritional marasmus, for the diagnosis of emaciated, since there is no specific index entry for emaciated. Other coders feel that “emaciation” and “emaciated” are the same conditions, and therefore, code 261 is appropriate for the diagnosis of emaciated. This code assignment can be located under:               Emaciation (due to malnutrition)  261 ...

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