tci Outpatient Facility Coding Alert - 2017 Issue 10

Reader Question: Unspecified ICD-10 Codes: Sometimes the Best Choice, but Not Often

Question: I've read a lot of advice that says never to use unspecified codes because they will be denied. But if we're never supposed to use them, why are they still a choice? Rhode Island Subscriber Answer: Coders like to think in black and white, so advice like "never do this" and "always do that" is appealing. But like it or not, there are gray areas in coding, and using unspecified codes is one of those areas. "There are legitimate reasons for choosing an unspecified code," says Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPCI, CPMA, CDEO, CRC, CHPSE, COPC, CENTC, CPEDC...

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