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Tag Archives: Clinical

New clinical criteria definitions in 2017 Official Guidelines up the ante for coders

New clinical criteria definitions in 2017 Official Guidelines up the ante for coders

by Laura Legg, RHIT, CCS, CDIP, and AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer

The new guideline for code assignment and clinical criteria in the 2017 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting does not mean clinical documentation improvement is going away; instead it just upped the ante for continued improvement.

Up the ante means to increase the costs, risks, or considerations involved in taking an action or reaching a conclusion. With the new coding guideline for clinical validation that went into effect October 1, the stakes remain high for the diagnoses documented by the physician to be clearly and consistently demonstrated in the clinical documentation.

It is not that the information was not there before, but now the issue is finally getting attention. When clinical documentation is absent, coders are instructed to query the provider for clarification that the condition was present. But what are we to do if the clinical indicators are not clearly documented? For HIM professionals who deal with payer denials, this has been a haunting issue for a very long time.

The ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting are the foundation from which coders assign codes. Coders need to review the new guidelines in detail to understand the changes and implications for their facilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published these new guidelines which can be read in their entirety here:


Taking a closer look

The coding guideline for section A.19 (code assignment and clinical criteria) has been labeled as controversial and, at this point, we have more questions than answers. Denials issued by payers due to the absence, or perceived absence, of clinical indicators by which the payer lowers the DRG is now being called DRG downgrading and it’s getting attention.

The code assignment and clinical criteria states:


Physicians and other providers document a patient’s condition based on past experience and what the clinician learned in medical school, which often differs from clinician to clinician. When you put a patient in front of a group of clinicians you will most likely get differing documentation. So how do we fix that?

The diagnosis of sepsis is a good example. There does not appear to be a universally accepted and consistently applied definition for the condition of sepsis.

In a patient record with the principal diagnosis code of sepsis, followed by the code for the localized infection, pneumonia, a payer denial could occur.

Payer denials often deny the sepsis diagnosis code stating that "the diagnosis of sepsis was not supported by the clinical evidence. Therefore, as a result of this review, the diagnosis code A41.9 [sepsis, unspecified organism] has been removed and the principal diagnosis re-sequenced to code J18.9 [pneumonia, unspecified organism] for pneumonia and to the lower paying DRG 193." This is now being referred to as a DRG downgrade. DRG downgrades can occur for different reasons including both DRG coding changes and clinical validation downgrades.


What is a coder to do?

What is a coder to do when a physician documents a diagnosis that may not be supported by the clinical circumstances reflected in the patient’s chart? Facilities and coding teams should develop guidance and be sure they fully understand the content and the impact of this coding guideline to coding practices.

Remember the section that reads: "the assignment of a diagnosis code is based on the provider’s diagnostic statement that the condition exists. The provider’s statement that the patient has a particular condition is sufficient."

This represents a catch-22. If the diagnosis is not clinically validated, both recovery auditors (RA), as well as commercial insurance auditors, are going to deny the claim. On the other hand, if coders or the facility decide not to report the diagnosis, they are in violation of the coding guidelines, which is also a major problem.

AHIMA’s 2016 Clinical Documentation Toolkit offers this advice:

The toolkit is available here:


Increasing clinical documentation

As the healthcare industry experiences an increased number of external audits, both federal and private, the need to up the ante on clinical documentation has become essential. The answer is not to let this guidance prompt lazy documentation, which has far reaching consequences, but to use it as a catalyst for improvement.

The goal of any clinical documentation improvement (CDI) program is to ensure a complete and accurate patient record, and this cannot be done without the presence of documentation supporting the clinical indicators and clear and consistent documentation regarding the condition. The provider’s documentation of their full thought process will accomplish this. If medical staff can come together and agree upon a definition for a certain condition, they can begin the process of being consistent with how the description is presented in the patient record.

CDI specialists and coders should not use the new guideline as an excuse not to query. Coders are not clinicians and, therefore, should not be expected to evaluate clinical criteria. Coding and CDI were separate functions, but, as audits from outside organizations expand, there is more emphasis on correct coding, DRG assignment, and the use of clinical criteria to support the reported codes, which means these entities need to work together.

The American Hospital Association’s Coding Clinic for ICD-10 instructs coders not to use background clinical information contained in their responses for code assignment. This information is only provided so the coders can make a judgment to query where there is incomplete documentation. Coders and CDI staff should review all chart documentation and data, and query when necessary to clarify inconsistencies in physician documentation.

Query the provider to support their diagnostic and procedural documentation by making a specific reference to the clinical basis of the diagnosis, and also by noting the absence of specific expected criteria such as radiographic findings, lab values, or patient manifestations.

External auditors in turn need to be following the same rules and coding guidelines as we do. Reviewers for facilities plagued by copious denials are finding auditors making up their own rules, using obsolete or outdated criteria, and clearly not understanding basic terminology used in the 2017 IPPS final rule.

DRG downgrading may be illegal, and some states intend to find out using state level legislation. Downgrading is, at the very least, disregarding the physician’s clinical judgment. We can’t forget who has eyes on the patient. Coders and CDI specialists should take documentation one step further and ask physicians to document their thought processes, the clinical indicators they are seeing, and their rationale for diagnosis determination.

Remember, coding is not based on clinical criteria. Coders cannot disregard physician documentation based on clinical indicators in the patient record, so, we will always need to ensure documentation is complete, accurate, and reflective of the patient’s clinical condition.


Editor’s Note:

Laura Legg, RHIT, CCS, CDIP, is an AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, and director of HIM optimization at Healthcare Resource Group in Spokane Valley, Washington. For questions, please contact editor Amanda Tyler at Opinions expressed are that of the author and do not represent HCPro or ACDIS. – Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies

Tip: CMS restructures APCs for nine clinical families

CMS followed through with its proposal to restructure APCs for nine clinical families in the 2016 OPPS final rule, with a few tweaks for specific services and procedures based on commenter suggestions.
CMS based the new groupings on the following:
  • Greater simplicity and improved understandability of the OPPS APC structure
  • Improved clinical homogeneity
  • Improved resource homogeneity
  • Reduced resource overlap in long-standing APCs
Following restructuring of ophthalmology and gynecology APCs in the 2015 OPPS final rule, CMS finalized restructuring in the following clinical families in the 2016 final rule:
  • Airway endoscopy procedures
  • Cardiovascular procedures and services
  • Diagnostic tests and related services
  • Eye surgery and other eye-related procedures
  • Gastrointestinal procedures
  • Gynecologic procedures and services
  • Incision and drainage and excision/biopsy procedures
  • Imaging-related procedures
  • Orthopedic procedures 
For full details of changes to APCs relevant for your facility, see section III.D of the final rule. 


This tip is adapted from “CMS backs off some burdensome proposals but imposes negative payment update in latest rule” in the January issue of Briefings on APCs. – APCs Insider

[Announcement] Private Payor Prices Will Be Used By Medicare to Set Payment Rates for Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests Beginning in 2018

Clinical Lab Tests

On June 17, CMS released a final rule implementing Section 216(a) of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), requiring laboratories performing clinical diagnostic laboratory tests to report the amounts paid by private insurers for laboratory tests. Medicare will use these private insurer rates to calculate Medicare payment rates for laboratory tests paid under the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) beginning January 1, 2018.

The final rule includes provisions to ease administrative burdens for physician office laboratories and smaller independent laboratories. The final rule will generally require reporting entities to report private payor rates and test volumes for laboratory tests if an applicable laboratory receives at least $ 12,500 in Medicare revenues from laboratory services paid under the CLFS and more than 50 percent of its Medicare revenues from laboratory and/or physician services.

For the system’s first year, laboratories will collect private payor data from January 1, 2016, through June 30, 2016, and report it to CMS between January 1, 2017, and March 31, 2017. CMS will calculate and post the new Medicare rates by early November 2017. These rates will take effect on January 1, 2018.

For More Information:


See the full text of this excerpted CMS press release (issued June 17).

The Medical Management Institute – MMI – Medical Coding News & MMI Updates

Clinical laboratory fee schedule on travel allowances and specimen collection fees

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated payment rates for travel allowances and specimen collection fees when billed on a per mileage basis using Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code P9603 and when billed on a flat rate basis using HCPCS code P9604 for 2016.

Payment of the travel allowance is made only if a specimen collection fee is also payable. The travel allowance is intended to cover the estimated travel costs of collecting a specimen including the laboratory technician’s salary and travel expenses. The per mile travel allowance is to be used in situations where the average trip to the patients’ homes is longer than 20 miles round trip.

The per flat-rate trip basis travel allowance is $ 9.90


Coding Ahead

Diagnosis Coding for Obesity, BMI, when noted in the clinical record

Diagnosis Coding for Obesity, BMI, when noted in the clinical record
May 20, 2016
As a coder, we are faced with the challenges of reporting all diagnoses held within the medical record that the providers are currently addressing during an encounter with the patient.  The diagnosis of obesity is one of those difficult coding issues.  Obesity is a complicating factor in many areas of health care, and its effect upon care is multifold.    According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), they define morbidobesity as:
·         Being 100 pounds or more above your ideal body weight.
·         Having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater.
·         Having a BMI of 35 or greater and one or more co-morbid condition.
High-risk comorbid conditions include the diagnoses of; Type 2 diabetes, life-threatening cardiopulmonary problems (egg, severe sleep apnea, Pickwickian syndrome, obesity-related cardiomyopathy), obesity-induced physical problems interfering with a normal lifestyle (e.g., joint disease treatable but for the obesity), and body size problems precluding or severely interfering with employment, family function, and ambulation.
In addition, mental status can also play a part in a patients’ obesity.  Mental status is a difficult diagnosis in and of itself, but can be another diagnosis that will need to be addressed if the physician notes the mental issues such as; severe depression, untreated or undertreated mental illnesses associated with psychoses, active substance abuse, bulimia nervosa, and socially disruptive personality disorders in addition to the obesity.   The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that over the last 30 years (as of 2009) that obesity is now considered to be “epidemic” in the United States and in adults 60 years and older is approximately 37% and 34% among women.  
The NIH breaks down obesity into “classes”
Class I Obesity = BMI 30.0 – 34.9 kg/m2
Class II Obesity = BMI 35.0 – 39.9 kg/m2
Class III Obesity = BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2
As a coder, by utilizing the information documented in the record, we can code the BMI from a dietitian’s note, or from the physician’s documentation.  However, if the numeric BMI falls into the “class” status we can report and code this as a Class I, II, or III obesity state.  The obesity documentation still has to be clearly defined within the medical record.  With that, there should be a correlation from the physician to support the obesity code assignment, and how that is currently impacting the patients’ current care and ongoing plan.
The next coding challenge to coding of an obesity diagnosis is the notation of the word “morbid” obesity.   As we know from the NIH, the definition of such is defined, yet many physicians note in the record the words “patient is morbidly obese” but do not include any further information or documentation for the coder to adequately code the obesity diagnosis correctly for that particular patient.  A patient may not have all the criteria for being “morbidly obese” according to the NIH guideline, however, a physician may document that the patient is “morbidly obese” in the medical record.   If the documentation of an obesity diagnosis is a pertinent part of that patients’ care or reason for their medical encounter; the coder is obligated to record the diagnosis accurately and may need to query the provider and ask for clarification or additional information to clearly support the “morbidly obese” diagnosis.  In addition, Coding Clinic, fourth quarter 2005, stated that coders could code BMI based on notes from dietitians, but we should still be diligent in having this information corroborated by the physician in the record too. 
AHIMA has given us a quick tool to use when asking the physician to clarify a diagnosis related to obesity.  In the ICD10cm changes for codes; the listing below helps us give clarity to the physicians, to document what we need to have to clearly report an obesity diagnosis correctly.  In addition, a BMI only identifies the ratio of height to weight and there may be outside factors or other reasons that can alter a BMI “number, such as highly muscular people, pregnant or lactating women.  It is not appropriate to assume or make the correlation that someone is diagnostically obese from a high BMI nor considered diagnostically underweight from a low BMI.
Morbid (severe)
° Due to excess calories
° With alveolar hypoventilation (Pickwickian syndrome)
Drug Induced
° Document drug
° Due to excess calories, familial, endocrine
        Body Mass Index (BMI)
        Document any associated diagnoses/conditions
From a coding perspective, documentation to support a diagnosis of overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity, obesity, should be clearly defined by the physician.  This documentation may include:
Ø  Diet discussed
Ø  Exercise encouraged
Ø  Gastric bypass surgery consult
Ø  Diet medication
Ø  Dietician referral and/or counseling
Ø  Weight loss program (i.e. gym membership)
Ø  Food log
Ø  Physiatrist referral
Obesity and Pregnancy
In April 2016, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defined what they consider obesity to be, and they closely follow the NIH guidelines.  ACOG defines the term “overweight” as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25–29.9.; and define the term “obesity” as having a BMI of 30 or greater.    ACOG has also noted that within the general category of obesity, there are three levels of “risk” go hand in hand with an increasing BMI:
        Lowest risk is a BMI of 30–34.9.
        Medium risk is a BMI of 35.0–39.9.
        Highest risk is a BMI of 40 or greater
ACOG has also confirmed that obesity during pregnancy puts the pregnant female at risk for several serious health problems such as:
        Gestational diabetes:
o   Gestational diabetes that is first diagnosed during pregnancy and can increase the risk of having a cesarean delivery.
o   Women who have had gestational diabetes also have a higher risk of having diabetes in the future, as do their children.
o   Obese women should be screened for gestational diabetes early in pregnancy and also may be screened later in pregnancy as well.

o   Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder that can occur during pregnancy or after pregnancy.
o   It is a serious illness that affects a woman’s entire body.
o   The kidneys and liver may fail.
o   Preeclampsia can lead to seizures, a condition called eclampsia.
o   In rare cases, stroke can occur.
o   Severe cases need emergency treatment to avoid these complications.
o   The baby may need to be delivered early.
        Sleep apnea: 
o   Sleep Apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing for short periods during sleep.
o   Sleep apnea is associated with obesity.
o   During pregnancy, sleep apnea not only can cause fatigue but also increases the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and heart and lung disorders.
        Pregnancy loss—Obese women have an increased risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage) compared with women of normal weight.

        Birth defects—Babies born to obese women have an increased risk of having birth defects, such as heart defects and neural tube defects.

        Problems with diagnostic tests:
o   Obesity increases the difficulty to visualize and review fetal anatomy on an ultrasound exam.
o   Obesity increases the difficulty to accurately assess the fetal heart rate and/or stress levels during labor

        Macrosomia (a condition in which the baby is larger than normal)
o   Macrosomia can increase the risk of the baby being injured during birth. (e.g. a shoulder dystocia)
o   Macrosomia also increases the risk of cesarean delivery.
o   Infants born with too much body fat have a greater chance of being obese later in life.

        Preterm birth:
o   Problems associated with a woman’s obesity, such as preeclampsia, may lead to a medically indicated preterm birth. (Pre-term birth or pre-term medically necessary induction of labor for a medical reason)
o   Preterm babies are not as fully developed as babies who are born after 39 weeks of pregnancy.
o   Preterm babies have an increased risk of short-term and long-term health problems.
o   The higher the woman’s BMI, the greater the risk of stillbirth.
ICD-10cm Diagnosis Code Changes; BMI reporting
In the ICD-10cm 2016 code set, the codes currently reflect the “new” choices that coders have when reviewing correct coding for “obesity”.   In addition, ICD-10cm now includes codes for obesity that is complicating a pregnancy.   The verbiage “complicating a pregnancy” is critical when determining the correct diagnosis code.  The physician will need do have documented whether the obesity is truly complicating the pregnancy, or if the obesity is simply a status/current state and the patient is incidentally pregnant, and as a coder we cannot assume that correlation.  It is important to remember that although BMI correlates with the amount of body fat, BMI does not directly measure body fat. 
When coding obesity as a diagnosis, if the BMI is documented in the record, be sure to add that in to your list of diagnoses.  Many insurance carriers are requesting the BMI to be added in conjunction with the obesity codes.  If the patient has presented for an encounter that is in regard to weight management, in coordination with a co-morbid condition be sure to code for all diagnostic co-morbidities.
When sequencing diagnoses for obesity, unfortunately the majority of health insurance plans will not pay for a claim if a code for obesity is listed as the primary diagnosis.   When sequencing obesity codes, review if the patient has other health complaints, such as type II diabetes or heart disease.  If this is the case, and the other health complaints are the primary diagnosisreason for the encounter with obesity as a secondary or tertiary diagnosis this sequencing would be appropriate. 
As a coder, it is your job to confirm the documentation to substantiate what is the primary, secondary and/or tertiary diagnoses are, and that they are clearly reflected in the medical record documentation.   Do not sequence other diagnosis codes before the obesity diagnosis in order to get reimbursed for the claim, especially if the patient is solely there for advice and/or concerns related to their obesity diagnosis. 
In a best practice situation, if the patient is seen for nutritional counseling or consultation with the diabetic educator in regard to their obesity diagnosis, and the patient does not have insurance coverage, inform the patient up-front, and have an ABN signed, or collect at the time of service.  
For drug-induced obesity, documentation should clearly identify the drug that is causing the obesity.  Coding guidelines instruct the coder to include an additional code to identify the drug causing the obesity, when known. This will result in the selection of a code from the range T36–T50, which should be sequenced after the obesity code.
In scenario #1, it is appropriate to code the diabetes diagnosis as primary; however, in scenario #2 the obesity is the primary diagnosis. 
Case Example #1: A female patient with type II diabetes without complications presents to the office for nutritional counseling.  She is 32 years old and was recently diagnosed with DMII, and is worried about her health.  She is morbidly obese and admits that she overeats. Her BMI is 36.
ICD-10cm Codes:
o   E11.9, Type 2 diabetes mellitus without complications
o   E66.01, Morbid (severe) obesity due to excess calories
o   Z71.3, Dietary counseling and surveillance
o   Z68.36, Body mass index (BMI) 36.0-36.9, adult
Case Example #2: A female patient with severe allergies, due to the steroid Decadron, presents to the office today for nutritional counseling in regard to her weight gain from the steroid.  She is no longer on the steroid and discontinued two months ago.   She is 32 years old and had been on the steroid for 60 days with a 30 day taper.   She is worried about her 15 pound weight gain.  In addition, pt.’s weight was stable at 155 prior to the Decadron. Her weight today is 170 Her BMI is 30.
ICD-10cm Codes:
o   E66.1, Drug Induced Obesity
o   T38.OX5S Adverse effect of glucocorticoids and synthetic analogues sequela
o   Z71.3, Dietary counseling and surveillance
o   Z68.30, Body mass index (BMI) 30.0-30.9, adult
Case Example #3:  Pt is admitted to the L&D unit for extreme obesity with a mild pre-eclampsia to ensure fetal wellbeing.  Pt is currently 37 weeks plus 2 days.  Fetal presentation is complete breech. Weight 165 lbs., height 149.86cm, her calculated BMI is 48, category III Obesity.  Due to extreme obesity in pregnancy, twice daily NST’s to be performed as part of the clinical management to ensure stable fetal status and will observe the mild preeclampsia.  Coordinate care with dietician; Blood Glucose (non-fasting) was 96.  No current indication of Gestational Diabetes. Continue management for mild preeclampsia and consider induction upon NST reviews and pre-eclampsia progression.
ICD-10cm Codes:
o   O14.03      Mild to moderate pre-eclampsia, third trimester
o   O99.213    Obesity complicating pregnancy, third trimester
o   Z3A.37     37 weeks gestation of pregnancy
o   O32.1xx1  Maternal care for breech presentation
o   Z71.3         Dietary counseling and surveillance
o   Z68.41       Body mass index (BMI) 40.0-44.9, adult
Final thoughts – wrap it up neatly
As a coder, the correct diagnosing and sequencing of obesity and obesity complications is an obligation that you must take seriously when applying codes to the patients’ medical record.  An inadvertent error of a diagnosis of obesity can have multiple long-range affects to the patient’s current and on-going care.  If records are reviewed, and an incorrect diagnosis of obesity or an incorrect BMI documentation is in the record, this may preclude a patient from obtaining, medial or life insurance, and even possibly affect their financial status when obtaining a loan or monetary transactions.  Some employers even require a patient to disclose medical information prior and/or post hire.  
Correct clinical documentation in regard to obesity needs to be clear, concise and show disease correlation when appropriate.  If those items are not readily interpreted within the record, query the provider to provide clarity.   Full listings of all obesity codes are contained in the ICD-10cm code set as are the formal coding guidelines.
Lori-Lynne A. Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC and ICD10 cm/pcs Ambassador/trainer is an E&M, and Procedure based Coding, Compliance, Data Charge entry and HIPAA Privacy specialist, with over 20 years of experience.  Lori-Lynne’s coding specialty is OB/GYN office & Hospitalist Services, Maternal Fetal Medicine, OB/GYN Oncology, Urology, and general surgical coding.  She can be reached via e-mail at or you can also find current coding information on her blog site:  
Below is the current listing of the ICD-10cm code set for obesity and overweight coding:
Overweight, obesity and other hyperalimentation (E65-E68)
E65 Localized adiposity Fat pad
E66 Overweight and obesity Code first obesity complicating pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium, if applicable (O99.21-)
Use additional code to identify body mass index (BMI), if known (Z68.-)
Excludes1: adiposogenital dystrophy (E23.6) lipomatosis NOS (E88.2) lipomatosis dolorosa [Dercum] (E88.2) Prader-Willi syndrome (Q87.1)
E66.0 Obesity due to excess calories
E66.01 Morbid (severe) obesity due to excess calories
Excludes1: morbid (severe) obesity with alveolar hypoventilation (E66.2)
E66.09 Other obesity due to excess calories
E66.1 Drug-induced obesity
Use additional code for adverse effect, if applicable, to identify drug (T36-T50 with fifth or sixth character 5)
E66.2 Morbid (severe) obesity with alveolar hypoventilation Pickwickian syndrome
E66.3 Overweight
E66.8 Other obesity
E66.9 Obesity, unspecified Obesity NOS
Pregnancy Obesity Codes
O99.2 Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases complicating pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium
O99.21 Obesity complicating pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium
O99.210 Obesity complicating pregnancy, unspecified trimester
O99.211 Obesity complicating pregnancy, first trimester
O99.212 Obesity complicating pregnancy, second trimester
O99.213 Obesity complicating pregnancy, third trimester
O99.214 Obesity complicating childbirth
O99.215 Obesity complicating the puerperium
Body mass index [BMI] Z68- >
Applicable To Kilograms per meters squared
Note:  BMI adult codes are for use for persons 21 years of age or older BMI pediatric codes are for use for persons 2-20 years of age. These percentiles are based on the growth charts published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 Z68 Body mass index [BMI]
Z68.1 Body mass index (BMI) 19 or less, adult
Z68.2 Body mass index (BMI) 20-29, adult
Z68.20 Body mass index (BMI) 20.0-20.9, adult
Z68.21 Body mass index (BMI) 21.0-21.9, adult
Z68.22 Body mass index (BMI) 22.0-22.9, adult
Z68.23 Body mass index (BMI) 23.0-23.9, adult
Z68.24 Body mass index (BMI) 24.0-24.9, adult
Z68.25 Body mass index (BMI) 25.0-25.9, adult
Z68.26 Body mass index (BMI) 26.0-26.9, adult
Z68.27 Body mass index (BMI) 27.0-27.9, adult
Z68.28 Body mass index (BMI) 28.0-28.9, adult
Z68.29 Body mass index (BMI) 29.0-29.9, adult
 Z68.3 Body mass index (BMI) 30-39, adult
Z68.30 Body mass index (BMI) 30.0-30.9, adult
Z68.31 Body mass index (BMI) 31.0-31.9, adult
Z68.32 Body mass index (BMI) 32.0-32.9, adult
Z68.33 Body mass index (BMI) 33.0-33.9, adult
Z68.34 Body mass index (BMI) 34.0-34.9, adult
Z68.35 Body mass index (BMI) 35.0-35.9, adult
Z68.36 Body mass index (BMI) 36.0-36.9, adult
Z68.37 Body mass index (BMI) 37.0-37.9, adult
Z68.38 Body mass index (BMI) 38.0-38.9, adult
Z68.39 Body mass index (BMI) 39.0-39.9, adult
 Z68.4 Body mass index (BMI) 40 or greater, adult
Z68.41 Body mass index (BMI) 40.0-44.9, adult
Z68.42 Body mass index (BMI) 45.0-49.9, adult
Z68.43 Body mass index (BMI) 50-59.9 , adult
Z68.44 Body mass index (BMI) 60.0-69.9, adult
Z68.45 Body mass index (BMI) 70 or greater, adult
Z68.5 Body mass index (BMI) pediatric
Z68.51 …… less than 5th percentile for age
Z68.52 …… 5th percentile to less than 85th percentile for age
Z68.53 …… 85th percentile to less than 95th percentile for age
Z68.54 …… greater than or equal to 95th percentile for age

Lori-Lynne’s Coding Coach Blog

Clinical Parameters to Guide Provider Documentation Queries

When medical documentation is unclear or incomplete, the coder’s job is to query the provider. This can be done verbally or in writing, but not in an email or with a sticky note in the chart. With the introduction of electronic medical records (EMR), best practice is for queries to be in writing via messaging […]