AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-9 - 2014 Issue 1; Clarification

Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes with Delivery

The patient presented to the hospital at 32 weeks gestation after reportedly experiencing preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM), six days prior to admission. She completed a course of latency antibiotics as well as betamethasone for fetal lung maturity. The patient did not develop infection or go into active labor; however she continued to leak fluid. Low cervical cesarean section was performed at 34 weeks, due to the PPROM. Based on information published in Coding Clinic, Third Quarter 2011, page 3, external auditors have told us code 644.21 is not appropriate since there was no preterm labor. We contend that the scenario published in Coding Clinic was entirely different. In this case, the preterm delivery occurred because of PPROM. Please clarify whether code 644.21 would be assigned to describe the preterm delivery?  ...

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