Medical Coding for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Posted by admin | September 30, 2017 , (0) comments

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its annual “Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report.” According to the data for 2016, the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is the highest ever recorded in the country’s history. About 1.6 million Americans were diagnosed with chlamydia, about 470,000 were diagnosed with gonorrhea, and about 28,000 were diagnosed with either primary or secondary syphilis. Last year, in 2015, the numbers were also up from previous years and decades, demonstrating an increasing trend in STD incidence in the United States. Indeed, the CDC characterizes the rise in STDs as a “clear warning of a growing threat.”

Alongside the sobering report, the CDC warned Americans that leaving an STD untreated can lead to infertility, stillbirth in infants, ectopic pregnancy, and increased risk for HIV transmissions. Some STDs, such as syphilis, may also be passed from mothers to infants. Based on this information, it is likely that clinicians will continue to see more cases of STDs, as people take action to lower their risks. Read on to learn more about ICD-10-CM coding for diagnosing the three most common STDs in the United States today.

Coding for STDs

Because chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are the most common STDs in the country right now, it is essential to know how they are coded in ICD-10-CM:

a. Chlamydia:  There are a wide range of ICD-10-CM codes that can be used for a chlamydia diagnosis. The billable codes typically fall under A55 or A56. However, it is important to note that a chlamydial infection may also be coded as “Chlamydia, unspecified,” for which the ICD-10-CM code is A74.9.For a sexually-transmitted chlamydia diagnosis, the most commonly used code is A56.8.

b. Gonorrhea: All gonococcal infections fall under A54 in ICD-10-CM. For an acute gonorrhea infection, the ICD-10-CM code is A54.00. For a gonococcal infection of the cervix, the code is A54.03.

c. Syphilis: The codes for congenital syphilis fall under A50. The codes for early syphilis fall under A51. The codes for late syphilis fall under A52. The codes for other / unspecified syphilis fall under A53.

Of course, these are not the only STDs that physicians are likely to encounter. In fact, within ICD-10-CM, all codes between A50 and A64 are dedicated to “infections with a predominantly sexual mode of transmission.” Because there are so many billable codes within this range, medical coding can become a major challenge, especially as more patients seek diagnosis and treatment for STDs.

If your practice is worried about accurate medical coding for patients with STDs, you should think about outsourcing your medical coding to the experts at AnnexMed. That way, you won’t have to worry about your revenue cycle and you can focus on supporting the health of your patients. Contact us today for more information about our services!

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