You have requested access to member only content.

Q&A: Sequencing additional diagnosis codes

QUESTION: I work for a gastrointestinal (GI) practice and I have a question regarding the correct sequence for adding diagnosis codes to a claim.

I have advised our physicians and billers that the primary diagnosis code is always the reason for the visit. I am a little confused about the remaining diagnosis codes the physician will write down in no specific order. Billers will report codes in the order the physicians write down the diagnoses and not always the reason for the visit.   For example, a patient is referred for a consult due to weight loss. The patient comes for the consult and the physicians may put down 787.29 (other dysphagia), 401.1 (benign hypertension), 783.21 (abnormal loss of weight), 787.99 (change in bowel habits) in this order and leave it up to the person entering the info to figure it out. 
I would report 783.21 first since that was the reason for the visit but then I’ve been putting the GI codes next and then anything else last. 
What is the correct sequence when adding diagnosis codes to a claim?

This is an excerpt from a members-only article. Please log in or become a member to read the complete article.

Not a member? Let's fix that!

JustCoding is the continuing education website for coding professionals. Whether you're an inpatient or outpatient coder, a veteran or new to the job, JustCoding will keep your skills sharp, test your coding knowledge, and help you stay abreast of CMS changes.

Register to access the free content available through the JustCoding site or subscribe to a Basic, Platinum, or Platinum Plus membership to access paid content on this site. Click here for more information.

For questions and support, please call customer service: 800-650-6787.