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Pre-Existing or Gestational?

February 1st, 2018 - Chris Woolstenhulme, QCC, CMCS, CPC, CMRS
Categories:   Diagnosis Coding   Obstetrics|Gynecology   Primary Care|Family Care  
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It is important to make a clear distinction between pre-existing conditions and conditions brought on by the pregnancy (gestational) or pregnancy related conditions.

  1. Condition Detail: Was the condition pre-existing (i.e., present before pregnancy)?
  2. Trimester: When did the pregnancy-related condition develop?
  3. Casual Relationship: Establish the relationship between the pregnancy and the complication (e.g., preeclampsia)

Code examples:

Be sure to look for coding notes. "Use additional code," for example, requires you report a code from I15- to identify the type of secondary hypertension. If the patient has pre-existing diabetes mellitus, identify any insulin use (Z79.4). Do not use this code if the patient has gestational diabetes, as this code is for long-term use.

Take a look at another example of a pre-existing condition and the notes associated with this code:

O34.41 Maternal care for other abnormalities of cervix, first trimester

These instructions are not optional. They must be included in your documentation and coding to ensure proper reimbursement. 

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