Keep your eye on ICD-10 specificity

Keep your eye on ICD-10 specificity

Many ICD-10-CM codes for diagnosing diseases and injuries to eyes have been revised and increased for 2017. Riva Lee Asbell takes a look at the important changes for medical practices and how to use them.

For example, specificity is being stressed since the grace period ended Oct. 1. And the seventh character is to designate laterality in specific subcategories. The laterality codes relating to eyes are:

  • 1 - right eye
  • 2 - left eye
  • 3 - bilateral
  • 9 - unspecified

Now unspecified means that the clinical documentation does not indicate which eye(s) are affected. And medical coders can't code what isn't documented.

But that doesn't mean healthcare payers can't deny what isn't documented.

Twelve Days of Coding

How much trouble can a lord-a-leaping cause? Even if there are 10 of them. Well quite a few injuries can occur during Y93.43 (Activity, gymnastics). But watch out for the seven geese-a-laying. That can lead to painful chaos. Hopefully your 12 Days of Christmas goes better than what the AAPC imagines.

Here's a round up of recent articles and posts on how to code diagnoses and procedures in ICD-10:



This is a weekly feature that I use to highlight practical tips on how to use and understand ICD-10-CM/PCS codes. Please let me know of any other sources that I can include.