AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-9 - 2013 Issue 4; Ask the Editor

Seizure with Encephalopathy due to Postictal State

The patient is a 70-year-old female who presented to the emergency department (ED) because of mental status change. While in the ED, she had a tonic-clonic seizure that was witnessed by staff. The patient had no previous history of seizure and was admitted as an inpatient for further evaluation and management. In the discharge summary, the provider noted, “On admission the patient had mental status changes, which subsequently resolved. Consequently, we have determined that the patient had encephalopathy secondary to postictal state.” Should encephalopathy be reported as an additional diagnosis with seizure when it’s due to a postictal state? Would the encephalopathy be considered inherent to the seizure or can it be separately reported?  ...

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