tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2003 Issue 10

Reader Question: Who Specified What?

Question: What do "NEC" and "NOS" mean in ICD-9 coding? How should I select between them?Florida Subscriber Answer: ICD-9 uses the abbreviations NEC and NOS for "not elsewhere classified" and "not otherwise specified," respectively. Think of NEC as the book's fault. Your general surgeon provides specific findings, but the book does not list a specific code that describes the diagnosis. On the other hand, consider NOS your physician's fault. Your surgeon's documentation does not provide enough information to assign a more specific diagnosis code. NEC codes are frequently highlighted in gray in the ICD-9 manual, and NOS...

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