Archive for November 11th, 2010

November 11, 2010

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s coding needs to be thought of in terms of multiple aspects of care or multiple symptoms/conditions caused by the Alzheimer’s.
In order to code Alzheimer’s (331.0) primary, multiple issues must be related to this diagnosis. Let’s say your patient had dementia and dysphagia, both specifically documented as related to the Alzheimer’s. You would code 331.0, 294.11, 787.20 with Alzheimer’s primary because of the multiple manifestations of the disease.
If the patient was only being treated for dysphagia related to Alzheimer’s, you would code 787.20, 331.0. That one point of care should be the primary code, not the underlying long-term condition.

Go here for more information on Alzheimer’s facts and figures.