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Risk Adjustment Coding Guidelines

Chronic Condition Coding

The Coding Awareness is a series of issues to help educate providers, coders and billers on how to document and report chronic conditions. Guidance contains definitions, diagnostic criteria, treatment options, and pertinent coding tips designated for each diagnosis.

What is risk adjustment?

  • The process by which health plans are reimbursed based on the health status of their members.
  • The mechanism by which government programs adjust the revenue to health plans based on the health status of the covered population (members).
  • Helps match payment to risk by estimating healthcare expenses based on the disease conditions attributed to the population.

Benefits of Risk Adjustment

  • Identifies patients who may need disease management intervention.
  • Identifies gaps in clinical documentation.
  • Accurate and timely documentation allows for more meaningful data exchanges between health insurance plans and providers, which helps members by:
    • Identifying new problems early
    • Reinforcing self-care and prevention strategies
    • Coordinating care collaboratively
    • Avoiding potential drug/disease interaction
  • Coded data translates into:
    • Quality reporting
    • Physician report cards
    • Reimbursement
    • Public health data

Physicians’ role

  • Physician data is critical for accurate risk adjustment.
  • Physicians are the largest source of medical data for the risk-adjustment models.
  • Risk-adjusted payment relies on accurate diagnosis coding on claims and complete medical record documentation.
  • Specificity of diagnosis coding is substantiated by the medical record.
  • Contributes to the level of complexity for the patient encounter.
  • Vital to a healthy revenue cycle and, more importantly, to a healthy patient.

What should you do?

  • Follow general documentation requirements.
  • Review official ICD-10-CM Guidelines for Coding and Reporting.
  • Review E/M services guidelines regarding chronic conditions.
  • Presenting problem(s) listed in the Table of Risk within Medical Decision addresses chronic conditions and may even justify a different E/M level.
  • Each progress note must:
    • Support what is coded and billed (ICD-10-CM, CPT and HCPCS).
    • Stand alone.
    • Be complete and contain legible signature and credentials.
    • Show medical necessity.

THE GOLDEN RULE: Document for others as you would have them document for you.

Secure Provider Portal Registration

If you haven’t already done so, please go to SunshineHealth.com to register for our Secure Provider Portal. Functions on the portal include: verification of eligibility, submission of claims, entering authorizations, viewing patient care gaps, etc. Use of the portal is free for all services!

Electronic Funds Transfer/Electronic Remittance Advice

The Medical Record

Due to its simplicity and popularity, many medical records take on the SOAP format: Subject, Objective, Assessment and Plan. The SOAP format addresses patients’ complaints in an organized and consistent manner. Over time, patients’ chronic conditions may be overlooked, assumed or tacitly understood.

What does CMS say?

One of the documentation requirements, according to the May 9, 1992, HCFA (now CMS) bulletin for Associate Regional Medicare Administrators, Issue 9, progress notes should stand alone. This means that providers should code all documented conditions that coexist at the time of the encounter and require or affect patient care, treatment or management. This must be documented by the provider and cannot be inferred by coders.

One way to document chronic conditions is by using the acronym MEAT.

Examples of MEAT:

  • Monitor
    • Symptoms
    • Disease progression/regression
    • Ordering of tests
    • Referencing labs/other tests
  • Evaluate
    • Test results
    • Medication effectiveness
    • Response to treatment
    • Physical exam findings
  • Assess/Address
    • Discussion, review records
    • Counseling
    • Acknowledging
    • Documenting status/level of condition
  • Treat
    • Prescribing/continuation of medications
    • Surgical/other therapeutic interventions
    • Referral to specialist for treatment/consultation
    • Plan for management of condition
Monitor Evaluate Assess/address Treat
Condition Documentation Examples
CHF Stable. Will continue same dose of Lasix and ACE inhibitor.
AAA Abdominal ultrasound ordered.
Major depression Continued feelings of hopelessness despite increase in Zoloft. Will refer to psychiatrist for further management.
Hypercholesterolemia and chronic Hepatitis C Prescribing Zetia for hypercholesterolemia as it won’t adversely affect the liver as patient suffers from chronic Hepatitis C.
Type 2 DM BS log and A1c results reviewed with patient.
GERD No complaints. Symptoms controlled on meds.
Peripheral Neuropathy Decreased sensation of BLE by monofilament test.
Ulcerative Colitis Currently managed by Dr. Smith.
Morbid obesity Advised patient to monitor calorie intake and increase activity level.
Decubitus ulcer of heel Wound measurements.

Additional tips

  • Document each patient encounter as if it is the only encounter.
  • Codes should be assigned for every condition documented in the chart note that has evidence of MEAT, not just the condition for which the patient came in.
  • All chronic and complex conditions need to be coded annually.
    • Review and document conditions managed by a specialist.
    • This counts as MEAT and can be coded on the claim.
  • When seeing a patient who comes in infrequently, ensure that chronic conditions are reviewed at the visit, even if they are only presenting for an acute issue.
  • When refills are made outside of a visit, encourage patient to schedule a checkup so that the condition can be reviewed and managed at least once a year.
  • Review and update the patient’s active problem list at each visit. If a condition is no longer active, either remove it from the list or add “History of.”
  • Specify the basis for ordering additional testing/treatment.
  • Show patient’s progress or lack of progress.
  • Avoid using the words “History of” for a condition that is chronic but currently stable, such as COPD, DM or atrial fibrillation.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.1 The symptoms differ person-to-person, but both children and adults can have ADHD. There are three types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive and combined.2 For a person to receive a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity must be chronic or long-lasting, impair the person’s functioning and cause the person to fall behind normal development for his or her age.1

Symptoms of ADHD

It is normal to have some inattention, unfocused motor activity and impulsivity. For people with ADHD, these behaviors can be more severe, occur more often and may interfere with or reduce the quality of how they function socially, at school or in a job. ADHD symptoms can appear as early as between the ages of three and six and can continue through adolescence and adulthood.1

Treatment of ADHD

While there is no cure for ADHD, currently available treatments can help reduce symptoms and improve functioning. Treatments include medication, psychotherapy, education and training, or a combination of treatments.1

ADHD Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
Refer to ICD-10-CM F90.0 – F90.9 (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders)3
Be precise

Avoid broad terms and unspecified codes such as “ADHD”, F90.9

  • Be meticulous in picking up the details in documentation. It leads to precise coding and a better awareness about the disease and the population it affects.
Use specifying terms in the documentation, such as ...
  • Inattentive
  • Hyperactive
  • Combined
Note
  • Codes within categories F90-F98 may be used regardless of the age of a patient.
  • These disorders generally have onset within the childhood or adolescent years but may continue throughout life or not be diagnosed until adulthood.
  • “Notes” within ICD-10 function as alerts to highlight coding instructions within the text.3
Refill medication correctly Remember to verify the condition and list the diagnosis in the Assessment and Plan.

Resources:

  1. National Institute of Mental Health: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (revised March 2016) 
  2. WebMD: ADHD Health Center 
  3. 2017 ICD-10-CM Expert for Physicians: The Complete Official Code Set, Optum360. 2016 Optum360, LLC

Asthma

Asthma, sometimes called bronchial asthma or reactive airway disease2, is a chronic lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of the lungs.1 It can be serious and life-threatening and can start at any age. With asthma, swollen airways become extra sensitive to things that one is exposed to in the environment every day—asthma “triggers.” When a trigger is breathed in, the airways create extra mucus and swell even more, making it harder to breathe.2

Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma symptoms include coughing (especially at night), wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness, pain or pressure.2 Understanding the experiences or exposures that make the asthma flare up is a key step to better managing the disease.

Treatment of Asthma

Treatment for asthma may include inhalers, oral medications and drugs delivered in a nebulizer or breathing machine.2 Making a plan to avoid or limit the environmental exposure to asthma triggers can eliminate asthma symptoms and help control the disease.1

Asthma Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
Refer to ICD-10-CM J45.20 – J45.998 (Asthma)3
Documentation should specify ...
  • Frequency (intermittent, persistent)
  • Exacerbation or decompensation
  • Severity (mild, moderate, severe)
  • Environmental factors
Use additional code to identify
  • Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Z77.22)
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke in the perinatal period (P96.81)
  • History of tobacco dependence (Z87.891)
  • Occupational exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Z57.31)
  • Tobacco dependence (F17.-) or tobacco use (Z72.0)
Avoid terms such as “history of” if patient is still being monitored for the condition.
  • Incorrect wording: Patient has history of asthma.
  • Correct wording: Patient has asthma with no recent onset to exacerbation. Current medication includes albuterol inhaler.
Additional coding tips
  • Bronchitis (J40): too general; identify acute or chronic.
  • COPD with asthmatic conditions: code both the COPD and Asthma.
  • Smoker’s cough (J41.0): do not use bronchitis code.
Documentation tips

The following language supports actively monitoring [any] condition and must be documented by the provider. In the documentation, mention:

  • Medications reviewed and that are current.
  • If the patient is seeing a specialist.
  • Whether or not there has been a recent onset to exacerbation.

Resources:

  1. American Lung Association
  2. WebMD: Asthma Health Center 
  3. 2017 ICD-10-CM Expert for Physicians: The Complete Official Code Set, Optum360. 2016 Optum360, LLC

Autistic Disorder

Autism is a brain disorder that limits a person’s ability to communicate and relate to other people.2 Also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person.1 Some people can navigate their world, some have exceptional abilities and some struggle to speak.2

Symptoms of Autism

Signs of ASD tend to appear between two and three years of age and can include repeated motions and/or words, avoiding eye contact or physical touch, delays in learning to talk and getting upset by minor changes.2 Additionally, some people with autism can experience physical symptoms such as constipation, sleep problems, poor coordination of muscles and seizures.2 These signs, however, can also occur in children without ASD and at any age.1,2 It is important that caregivers talk with a healthcare provider to request a screening for autism.

Treatment of Autism

Treatment for ASD is dependent on screening results. A diagnosis of autism is not needed for people to begin receiving services related to developmental delays or learning challenges.1 Treatments include behavior programs, individualized education programs (IEPs), medication, sensory processing, assistive technology and diet.2

Autistic Disorder Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
Refer to ICD-10-CM F84.0 (Autistic disorder)3
Use additional code ...

to identify any associated medical condition such as:

  • Constipation
  • Sleep problems
  • Poor coordination of muscles
  • Seizures

and intellectual disabilities such as IQ:

  • Mild (IQ 50-69) F70
  • Moderate (IQ 35-49) F71
  • Severe (IQ 20-34) F72
  • Profound (IQ under 20) F73
  • Other intellectual disabilities F78
  • Unspecified intellectual disabilities F7

Avoid terms such as “history of” if patient is still being monitored for the condition.

  • Incorrect wording: Patient has history of autism.
  • Correct wording: Patient has autism and continues medication.
Documentation and coding tips

The following language supports actively monitoring [any] condition and must be documented by the provider. In the documentation, mention…

  • If the patient is receiving therapy.
  • Getting a refill on medication.
  • The status of the condition.

Resources:

  1. Autism Speaks: What is Autism?
  2. WebMD: What is Autism? 
  3. 2017 ICD-10-CM Expert for Physicians: The Complete Official Code Set, Optum360. 2016 Optum360, LLC

Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in children and adolescents in which the rights of others or basic social rules are violated.1 It is not uncommon for a child or teen to experience behavioral problems; however, the behavior is considered to be a conduct disorder when it is long-lasting and when it goes against accepted norms of behavior and disrupts the child’s or family’s everyday life.2

Symptoms of Conduct Disorder

Symptoms of conduct disorder vary depending on the age of the child and whether the disorder is mild, moderate or severe. In general, the symptoms fall into four categories: (1) Aggressive, (2) Nonaggressive or Destructive, (3) Deceitfulness, and (4) Violation of Rules.2

Treatment of Conduct Disorder

Treatment for conduct disorder is based on many factors, including the child’s age, the severity of the symptoms and the child’s ability to participate in and tolerate specific therapies.2 Treatment usually consists of psychotherapy, medication and/or a family support group or organization. Appropriate treatment is individualized and should be done by a mental health professional, preferably one who is trained in children’s mental health.1

Behavioral and Conduct Disorder Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
ICD-10-CM F91.0 – F91.9 (Conduct Disorders)3
Do NOT code the following disorders if they exist
  • Antisocial behavior (Z72.81-)
  • Antisocial personality disorder (F60.2)

Per ICD-10-CM “Excludes 1” note.

DO code the following disorders if they exist at the same time as Conduct Disorder
  • ADHD (F90.-)
  • Mood [affective] disorders (F30-F39)
  • Pervasive developmental disorders (F84.-)
  • Schizophrenia (F20.-)

Per ICD-10-CM “Excludes 2” note.

Documentation and coding tips

The following language supports [any] condition and must be documented by the provider. It cannot be inferred by coders. In the documentation, mention:

  • If the patient is receiving therapy.
  • Getting a refill on medication.
  • The status of the condition.

Resources:

  1. Mental Health America: Conduct Disorder 
  2. WebMD: Mental health and Conduct Disorder
  3. 2017 ICD-10-CM Expert for Physicians: The Complete Official Code Set, Optum360. 2016 Optum360, LLC

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.1 People who have bipolar disorder can have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and other periods of feeling very sad, hopeless and sluggish. In between those periods, they usually feel “normal.” One can think of the highs and the lows as two “poles” of mood, which is why it’s called “bipolar” disorder.2

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and unusual behaviors. These distinct periods are called “mood episodes.”1 A clinician would have to determine whether they may be the result of another cause (such as low thyroid or mood symptoms caused by drug or alcohol abuse).2

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Medication is the main treatment, usually involving “mood stabilizers.” Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is often recommended, too.2

Bipolar Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
Refer to ICD-10-CM F31.0 – F31.9 (Bipolar disorder)3
Be precise

Avoid broad terms and unspecified codes such as “Bipolar disorder,” F31.9, or “Bipolar II disorder,” F31.81.

  • Be meticulous in picking up the details in documentation.
  • It leads to precise coding and a better awareness about the disease and the population it affects.
Use specific terms in the documentation, such as ...
  • Type I or II
  • Current or in remission
  • Manic or mixed
  • Severity (mild, moderate, severe)
  • Presence of psychotic features
Bipolar previously diagnosed? Consider the following ...
  • Two similar conditions cannot occur together, e.g., reporting Depression when Bipolar has been addressed.
  • Depression is considered inclusive of Bipolar disorder, per ICD-10-CM “Excludes 1” note.
Refill medication correctly Don’t forget to verify the condition and list the diagnosis in the Assessment and Plan.

Resources:

  1. National Institute of Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder (revised April 2016)
  2. WebMD: A Look at Bipolar Disorder (reviewed November 2015) 
  3. 2017 ICD-10CM Expert for Physicians: The Complete Official Code Set, Optum360. 2016 Optum360, LLC

Cancer

Cancer starts when cells grow out of control and crowd normal cells.2 In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues.1 There are many types of cancer and the causes vary greatly.

Symptoms of Cancer

The signs and symptoms will depend on where the cancer is located, how big it is, and how much it affects the organs or tissues.2 If a cancer has spread (metastasized), signs or symptoms may appear in different parts of the body. Some signs include noticeable changes such as changes in the skin, breast, or urination1 while other signs are not known until the cancer has grown quite large.

Treatment of Cancer

There are many types of treatment that will depend on the type of cancer and how advanced it is. Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

Malignant Neoplasm Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
Refer to ICD-10-CM
  • C00 – D49 code series
  • O9A.1- code series (Malignant neoplasm in Pregnancy)
Specify anatomical site and behavior
  • Malignant Primary (original site)
  • Malignant Secondary (metastasized)
  • Carcinoma in situ
  • Benign
  • Uncertain
  • Unspecified Behavior

Primary vs. secondary

  • Exam is for Primary Malignant site(s) with known/unknown secondary site(s):
    1st Dx: [Primary] Cancer 2nd Dx: [Known/Unknown] Cancer
  • Exam is for Secondary Malignant site(s) with an active primary site(s):
    1st Dx: [Secondary] Cancer 2nd Dx: [Primary] Cancer
Admission for treatment
  1. Code FIRST:
    • Encounter for radiation therapy (Z51.0) being administered.
    • Encounter for immunotherapy (Z51.12)
    • Encounter for chemotherapy (Z51.11)
  2. Code SECOND:
    • Malignancy for which the therapy is being administered.
Active vs. History of vs. In remission

Active: Malignancy is excised but patient is still undergoing treatment directed to that site. Primary malignancy codes should be used until treatment is complete. Example: “Patient with ongoing chemotherapy after right mastectomy for breast cancer.”

History of: Malignancy has been previously excised or eradicated; there is no further treatment directed to that site and no evidence of any existing primary malignancy. Here malignancy is considered a “History of” for coding purposes (Z85.-). Example: “Breast cancer treated with mastectomy and adjunct chemotherapy 3 years ago.”

In remission: Don’t confuse personal history with “In remission.” Codes for leukemia, multiple myeloma and malignant plasma cell neoplasms indicate whether the condition has achieved remission. Example: “Patient with leukemia documented as ‘In remission’ is admitted for autologous bone marrow transplantation.”

Resources:

  1. National Cancer Institute 
  2. American Cancer Association 
  3. Elsevier Clinical Solutions (Understanding the ICD10-CM Neoplasm Coding Guidelines)
  4. ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting (PDF)

Depression

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.1 Doctors aren’t sure what causes depression, but a prominent theory is altered brain structure and chemical function. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.2

Symptoms of Depression

Some of the signs and symptoms of depression can be experienced most of the day, or nearly every day, for at least two weeks. These include feelings of sadness, anxiousness, hopelessness, irritability, guilt, decreased energy or fatigue, loss of interest, feeling restless, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, appetite changes and/or thoughts of death or suicide.1

Treatment of Depression

Depression, even the most severe cases, can be treated. The earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is. Depression is usually treated with medications, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.1 In addition to therapy and medication, research suggests pets and exercise are potent weapons against mild to moderate depression.2

Depression Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
Refer to ICD-10-CM F32.0 – F33.9 (Major depressive disorder)3
Be precise

Avoid broad terms and unspecified codes such as “Depression,” F32.9.

  • Be meticulous in picking up the details in documentation.
  • It leads to precise coding and a better awareness about the disease and the population it affects.
Use specifying terms in the documentation, such as …
  • Severity (mild, moderate, severe)
  • Episodes (single, recurrent or in remission)
Use a depression screening tool
  • Mental Health America offers a convenient questionnaire that makes it easy to obtain specific diagnosis codes.4
  • Note all disclaimers on the website.
  • Visit Mental Health America.
Refill medication correctly Remember to verify the condition and list the diagnosis in the Assessment and Plan.

Resources:

  1. National Institute of Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder (revised October 2016) 
  2. WebMD: Depression: What Is It? (reviewed May 07, 2016)
  3. 2017 ICD-10CM Expert for Physicians: The Complete Official Code Set, Optum360. 2016 Optum360, LLC
  4. Mental Health America: Depression Screening 

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high, which can cause health problems over time.1 Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined and nearly doubles the chance of having a heart attack.2 The main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Common diabetes symptoms include urinating often, feeling very thirsty, feeling very hungry even though you are eating, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, cuts/bruises that are slow to heal, weight loss even though you are eating more (type 1), and tingling, pain or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2).2 Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes.

Treatment of Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious disease that cannot be treated on its own. A treatment plan may be developed by a provider that includes keeping a close watch over blood sugar levels with a combination of medications, exercise and diet.3

Diabetes Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
Refer to ICD-10-CM
  • E08 – E13 code series (Diabetes)
  • O24 code series (Diabetes in Pregnancy)
Documentation should specify …
  • Type of DM (Type 1, Type 2, Other)
  • Complication/manifestation affecting body system
Secondary diabetes (E08- series)

Code first any underlying conditions, code second the type of diabetes:

  • Congenital rubella (P35.0) 
  • Cushing’s Syndrome (E24.-)
  • Cystic fibrosis (E84.-)
  • Malignant neoplasm (C00-C96)
  • Malnutrition (E40-E46)
  • Diseases of the pancreas (K85.-, K86.-)

Example: Secondary DM due to pancreatic malignancy (C25.9 + E08.9)

Identify cause-and-effect relationships

State any relationship between DM and another condition such as:

  • Diabetic coma or Gastroparesis secondary to diabetes
  • Neuropathy due to diabetes or Foot ulcer associated with diabetes

Example: Diabetic retinopathy with macular edema (E11.311)

*Note: When type of diabetes is not documented, default to category E11 (type 2).

Use additional code to identify
  • Site of any ulcers (L97.1-L97.9, L89.41-L98.49)
  • Stage of chronic kidney disease (N18.1-N18.6)
  • Glaucoma (H40-H42)
Controlling diabetes

Be sure to add:

  • Long-term insulin use (Z79.4)
  • Oral antidiabetic drugs (Z79.84) or Oral hypoglycemic drugs (Z79.84)
Avoid terms such as “history of” if patient is still being monitored for the condition.
  • Incorrect wording: Patient has history of diabetes.
  • Correct wording: Patient has Type 2 DM with ketoacidosis.

Resources:

  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 
  2. American Diabetes Association 
  3. WebMD: Diagnosis and Treatment 
  4. ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting (PDF)

When is oxygen therapy used?

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, doctors use oxygen therapy to treat the following conditions: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart failure, pneumonia, severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea.1

How is oxygen therapy administered?

Oxygen therapy is received from tubes resting in your nose, a face mask, or a tube placed in your trachea or windpipe. It can be given for a short or long period of time in the hospital, another medical setting or at home. Oxygen is stored as a gas or liquid in special tanks.1

Oxygen Supplementation Coding Guidance
Tips ICD-10 Mapping & Education
Refer to ICD-10-CM
  • Z99.81: Dependence on supplemental oxygen
  • Z99.11: Dependence on respirator [ventilator] status

Dependence means patient cannot live without it.

Notes Categories Z89-Z90 and Z98-Z99 are for use only if there are no complications or malfunctions of the organ or tissue replaced, the amputation site or the equipment on which the patient is dependent.2
Z99.81 Dependence on Supplemental Oxygen
  • Do not bill in conjunction with cardiac pacemaker status (Z95.0).2
  • Do not use diagnosis as present on admission (POA).7
  • It is unacceptable as a principal diagnosis for inpatient admission per Medicare Code Edits (MCE).2

Code is allowable for any patient using long-term supplemental oxygen, regardless of the duration of use each day.3

Z99.11 Dependence on Respirator [Ventilator] Status
  • Do not bill in conjunction with cardiac pacemaker status (Z95.0).2
  • Do not use diagnosis as present on admission (POA).7
  • When placed on hospital claim together with any of the following primary diagnosis codes, it can only be used as NON-CC/NON MCC: J95.850, Z99.0, Z99.12, Z99.81 and Z99.89.2

Does not treat a disease or condition. It’s used only for life support.5

Common HCPCS Used for DME

Claim submissions will always list the medical necessity first, then Z99.81 or Z99.11 as a secondary diagnosis:

E0424, E0431, E0434, E0439, E0441, E0442, E0443 ,E0444, E0445, E0465, E0466, E0470, E0471, E0472, E0481, E0482, E0483, E0484, E1390, K07382,6 (not all-inclusive)

Resources:

  1. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Oxygen Therapy
  2. SuperCoder
  3. AHA Coding Clinic, 2002, Q4, Status V codes
  4. Durable Medical Equipment (PDF) (pg195-198)
  5. Pub Med
  6. Medical PA Criteria Change V 2.9 (PDF)
  7. CDC National Center for Health Statistics