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Reporting Fourth Digit Burn Location Diagnosis

Reporting Fourth Digit Burn Location Diagnosis

Are you finding that your coding process seems to have taken a toll in regards to burn diagnosis? After all, it is up to the coder to make the important decision of looking over the ICD-9 codes in order to choose the correct one for each specific encounter. When it seems as though there is no good way to go about this task, there are a couple of things that you can remember in order to make the process of reporting much easier for everyone involved.

One thing that you will want to keep in mind when you begin is that it is important to go ahead and start by choosing the burn location code first. The codes within the 940-947 ICD-9 set is the best place to start because they always reach out to the fourth digit at least. This will represent the severity of the burn, and then you can look to see if there is a need to report any burn sites in other areas. When you do find that a particular patient has several different burns on their body, it is very important that you record an ICD-9 code for each one of them.

The 948 section of coding does not come into play unless you have already chosen the diagnosis codes in terms of location. Some will call this part of the coding procedure the “Rule of Nines” because you are looking for percentages in 9 percent increments to determine the proper number to fit into the fourth or fifth digit of this coding group.

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