AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS - 2019 Issue 1; Ask the Editor

Emphysema and Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

A 72-year-old male with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema presents due to COPD exacerbation. The Alphabetic Index leads coding professionals to code J44.1, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with (acute) exacerbation, for exacerbation of COPD. However, Coding Clinic Fourth Quarter 2017 advises to assign code J43.9, Emphysema, unspecified, when a patient with emphysema presents with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Excludes1 note found at category J44, Other chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, prohibits the reporting of code J44.1 with code J43.9. If only code J43.9 is assigned, the acuity is not captured. What is the appropriate code assignment for an exacerbation of COPD with emphysema? ...

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