Archive for March 6th, 2011

March 6, 2011

Keep nonhealing burns coded as acute

One of the quirks of burn coding in home health is that we code nonhealing burns as acute burns. It may seem contrary, but we are following the Coding Guidelines when we do this.

Scars of joint contractures are late effects … only if they are from burns. They are coded in 906.5-906.9

Although burns may not be a huge part of our coding, we run into enough patients who burn themselves in the kitchen or on uncovered heating pads to warrant a few reminders:

  • Category 948 deals with the Rule of Nines to guide you through what percent of the body has been burned. (Each arm, 9 percent; torso, 18 percent, etc.) You should code by location and severity, with the most severe burn being listed first.
  • Remember to add 958.3, postraumatic wound infection, if your burn has a complication.