April 28, 2014

Memorizing ICD-10-CM by the Letters: Part 2

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of a three part series on tips for memorizing ICD-10 codes. Read Part 1 and Part 3

This article continues the series that aims to provide assistance in “memorizing” ICD-10-CM – maybe not to the exact code, but the process will get you close. Shall we continue?

Each ICD-10-CM code begins with a letter. Each letter can be associated with a specific ICD-10-CM chapter. Some chapters include more than one letter and some chapters share beginning letters.

 

Chapter 8 contains Diseases of the Ear and Mastoid Process. In ICD-10-CM, the letter that begins these codes is H. These codes can be associated with the mnemonic of Hearing for hearing disorders. This chapter contains otitis and deafness. The documentation concerns for this chapter are laterality as well as the specificity of ear infections (otitis media, otitis externa), as well as the association of specific organisms.

Chapter 9 contains Circulatory Diseases. In ICD-10-CM, the letter that begins these codes is I. Because all ICD-10-CM codes begin with a letter, the “I” should not be confused with the number one. These codes can be associated with the mnemonic of Infarction for circulatory disorders. This chapter contains heart attacks (infarctions), embolus, thrombus, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. The documentation concerns for this chapter are specificity of congestive heart failure type (systolic, diastolic, combination), severity of conditions (acute, chronic, acute on chronic), location of the infarction (posterior wall, lateral wall, middle cerebral artery, left anterior descending, etc.), and laterality (right, left, bilateral).

Chapter 10 contains Diseases of the Respiratory System. In ICD-10-CM, the letter that begins these codes is J. These codes can be associated with the mnemonic of Just Gasping for respiratory diseases. The documentation concerns in this chapter are specific types of asthma (intermittent, persistent), severity (mild, moderate, severe, acute, chronic, etc.), specific organisms associated with infections, and specific types of pneumonia (viral, bacterial, nosocomial, aspiration, etc.).

Chapter 11 contains Diseases of the Digestive System. In ICD-10-CM, the letter that begins these codes is K. These codes can be associated with the mnemonic of Knot in Stomach for digestive diseases. This chapter contains digestive system ulcers, hernia, appendicitis, cholecystitis, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, diverticulitis, and pancreatitis. The documentation concerns in this chapter are anatomic specificity (Crohn’s disease of small intestine, calculus of the bile duct), associated symptoms (Barrett’s esophagus with low grade dysplasia, gastric ulcer with perforation, inguinal hernia with gangrene), severity (acute, chronic, first degree, second degree, etc.), and laterality (unilateral, bilateral).

Chapter 12 contains the Diseases of the Skin and Subcutaneous Tissues. In ICD-10-CM, the letter that begins these codes is L. The codes can be associated with the mnemonic of Lipoma for the skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders. This chapter contains carbuncles, furuncles, cellulitis, lymphadenitis, dermatitis, eczema, hives, ingrown toenail, pressure ulcer, and skin breakdown. The documentation concerns in this chapter are the ulcer stages (stage 1, stage 2, stage 3), specificity regarding non-pressure skin breakdown (fat layer exposed, necrosis of muscle, necrosis of bone), severity (acute, chronic), anatomic sites (hip, calf, sacral region), and laterality (right, left, bilateral).

Chapter 13 contains the Diseases of the Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue. In ICD-10-CM, the letter that begins these codes is M. The codes can be associated with the mnemonic of Muscles for the musculoskeletal system diseases. This chapter contains arthritis, spinal curvatures, systemic lupus erythematosus, osteomyelitis, spinal stenosis, pathologic fracture, stress fracture, muscle wasting and atrophy, and tendinitis. The documentation concerns in this chapter are the specificity of spinal region (cervical, thoracic, thoracolumbar, lumbar, lumbosacral), type of non-traumatic fracture (pathologic, stress, due to neoplasm, due to osteoporosis), laterality (right, left, bilateral), specific type of arthritis (osteoarthritis, staphylococcal, bacterial, rheumatoid, reactive, etc.), and association with post-operative and intra-operative complications.

Chapter 14 contains the Diseases of the Genitourinary System. In ICD-10-CM, the letter that begins these codes is N. The codes can be associated with the mnemonic of Nocturia for the genitourinary disorders. This chapter contains urinary tract infections, acute and chronic renal failure, kidney stones, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and fibrocystic disease of breast. The documentation concerns in this chapter are laterality (right, left, bilateral), severity of conditions (acute, chronic), chronic kidney disease stage (1, 2, 3, 4, ESRD), and associating conditions with causative organisms (E. Coli, Pseudomonas, Streptococcal, Staphylococcal, etc.).

This series will be concluding with Part 3, which will cover Chapters 15 through 21. Keep practicing your ICD-10-CM by the letters!

 

Laurie Johnson, MS, RHIA, CPC-H, FAHIMA, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

Laurie M. Johnson, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA is currently a senior healthcare consultant for Revenue Cycle Solutions, based in Pittsburgh, Pa. Laurie is an American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer. She has more than 35 years of experience in health information management and specializes in coding and related functions. She has been a featured speaker in over 40 conferences. Laurie is a member of the ICD10monitor editorial board and makes frequent appearances on Talk Ten Tuesdays.