The patient was admitted to the hospital with left lower quadrant pain, nausea and vomiting and diarrhea. CT scan of the abdomen showed epiploic appendagitis. The provider listed “Epiploic appendagitis” in the final diagnostic statement. How should “epiploic appendagitis” be coded? Can we code this as generalized peritonitis?
Query the provider as to whether this is a localized peritonitis (inflammation in the peritoneum). If the provider confirms and documents the diagnosis as peritonitis, it may be coded as such. Assign code 567.9, Unspecified peritonitis. Assign also code 751.5, Other anomalies of intestine, for the epiploic appendage. Although the Alphabetic Index cross-references “peritonitis,” under the term “epiploitis,” if the patient does not have peritonitis, code 567.9 should not be assigned; rather assign code 569.89, Other specified disorders of the intestine, other.