Nervous System Coding in ICD-10-CM/PCS
By Melanie Endicott, MBA/HCM, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P
ICD-10-CM/PCS will capture a greater level of specificity for nervous system coding. This article highlights some of the new features in coding central and peripheral nervous system cases with ICD-10-CM/PCS.
Nervous System ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding
Nervous system diagnosis codes are assigned from chapter 6 of ICD-10-CM, "Diseases of the Nervous System." This chapter includes categories G00–G99, which are arranged into the following blocks:
Sense organs have been separated from nervous system disorders, creating two new chapters for diseases of the eye and adnexa (chapter 7) and of the ear and mastoid process (chapter 8).
A few conditions have been moved from ICD-9-CM chapter 7, "Diseases of the Circulatory System," to ICD-10-CM chapter 6. These include basilar and carotid artery syndromes, transient global amnesia, and transient cerebral ischemic attack.
A note in categories G82 (Paraplegia and quadriplegia) and G83 (Other paralytic syndromes) states:
This category is to be used only when the listed conditions are reported without further specification, or are stated to be old or longstanding but of unspecified cause. The category is also for use in multiple coding to identify these conditions resulting from any cause.
Codes from category G81, Hemiplegia and hemiparesis, and subcategories, G83.1, Monoplegia of lower limb, G83.2, Monoplegia of upper limb, and G83.3, Monoplegia, unspecified, identify whether the dominant or nondominant side is affected. Should the affected side be documented but not specified as dominant or nondominant and the classification system does not indicate a default, code selection is as follows:
The terminology for epilepsy has been updated, with terms to classify the disorder such as localization-related idiopathic epilepsy, generalized idiopathic epilepsy, and special epileptic syndromes. Within those various categories, more specificity is possible, such as identifying seizures of localized onset, complex partial seizures, and intractable and status epilepticus.
Nervous System Procedure Coding in ICD-10-PCS
The central and peripheral nervous system are found in the medical and surgical section of ICD-10-PCS. All ICD-10-PCS codes are seven characters long with each of the seven characters representing an aspect of the procedure. The diagram at left illustrates the seven characters of a code from the medical and surgical section.
Medical and surgical codes have a first character of "0." The second character for the central nervous system is "0," while the second character for the peripheral nervous system is "1."
There are 20 root operations relevant to the central and peripheral nervous system, defined in the table on above. Coders should begin familiarizing themselves with the root operations and their definitions to prepare for ICD-10-PCS.
The body part values (fourth character) in the central and peripheral nervous system are numerous. The body part key in ICD-10-PCS is a table that lists each body part and its corresponding anatomical structures. Coders should become familiar with the body part key in learning to accurately assign ICD-10-PCS codes.
For instance, if a physician documents a neurolysis of the celiac plexus, which is not one of the listed body parts in the peripheral nervous system, coders can reference the body part key to identify the celiac plexus as a branch of the abdominal sympathetic nerve.
The fifth character specifies approach (i.e., open, via natural or artificial opening), and the sixth character indicates devices, such as a drainage device. The seventh and last character is a qualifier, which is specific to a particular root operation. The seventh character may be used to specify the destination of a bypass (e.g., atrium, urinary tract), a diagnostic procedure (e.g., biopsy), or the site receiving a nerve transfer (e.g., optic nerve, facial nerve).
Examples of procedures performed on the central and peripheral nervous system are revision of a VP shunt (00W600Z), percutaneous radiofrequency coagulation of the trigeminal nerve (005K3ZZ), suturing of the ulnar nerve (01Q40ZZ), left carpal tunnel release (01N50ZZ), and severing of the sciatic nerve via percutaneous endoscopic approach (018F4ZZ).
AHIMA. "CATS ICD-10-PCS A&P Focus: Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems Course." Available for purchase at www.ahimastore.org.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "2011 ICD-10-PCS." www.cms.gov/icd10.
National Center for Health Statistics. "2011 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting." www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd10cm.htm.
National Center for Health Statistics. "2011 ICD-10-CM." www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd10cm.htm.
Melanie Endicott (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a professional practice resource specialist at AHIMA.