Watch out when using E-Codes

Published: 17th September 2010
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Do you report injuries or poisonings? If so, you should be familiar with E codes. But prior to turning to these codes, see to it that you remember these three warnings that will prevent your claim from getting tripped by a denial.

1.Do not lose the purpose of E codes

E codes point to the external causes of injuries and poisonings as well as the adverse effects of drugs and substances. These are considered special ICD-9 diagnosis codes which you can normally use to report accidents, injuries or diseases. You can report E codes with regular ICD 9 codes .

Don't: You shouldn't report E codes as your primary code as they only point to the cause of injury/poisonings and not the resulting injury/condition. Always go fro E codes in addition to a numerical ICD-9 code that describes the injury itself. It may be required to assign more than one E code to explain each cause fully.

2.Be specific about your E codes

Boosting E code reporting can benefit auto insurance companies, disability insurers, health insurance plans, public payers, health care purchasers, employers, businesses, labor unions, schools and other entities keen on injury prevention and safety issues. However does it provide too much 'up-front' information about the patient's behavior/lifestyle?

3.Take more risks while reporting certain E codes

There are E codes for reporting surgical mishaps, including E876.6, E876.7. Although you could bill these codes, you would want to keep hoping you may never have to be face to face with these "need". The new codes describe situations that are considered 'never' events which means they represent surgical mistakes that should not take place.

To find out how E codes help insurance companies and other ICD 9 coding information, sign up for a one-stop medical coding website.

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