Q&A: Coding for labile hypertension
QUESTION: I've always coded labile hypertension with ICD-9-CM code 401.9 (unspecified essential hypertension) because I couldn't find a more specific one. My supervisor stated that I must use ICD-9-CM code 796.2 (elevated blood pressure reading without diagnosis of hypertension) because it means the patient's blood pressure was high without a history of hypertension. The physician's diagnosis is labile hypertension. What code would you use?