COVID-19 Explained: Part 1 – History & Suspected Exposure
The history of COVID-19, or “Coronavirus Disease 2019,” shows it is an infectious respiratory disease caused by the newly discovered Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that ranges from mild to no symptoms, to severe symptoms and death after exposure to COVID-19 (CDC, 2020). As of April 30, there are 3,222,107 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, with 228,757 deaths and 992,592 recoveries (Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 2020).
The Respiratory Diagnoses Hot Topics Webinar is included in our new Respiratory Diagnoses Hot Topics for 2020 webinar, it provides an overview of the Official Coding Guidelines for COVID-19, as well as how to code the Coronavirus infections and patient encounters, including 1 CEU. See more here.
History of COVID-19
Coronaviruses consist of a large family of viruses that commonly occur in humans and different species of animals, such as bats, cattle, cats, and more (CDC, 2020). Animal coronaviruses may infect and spread among humans in rare occurrences, such as the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China (CDC, 2020).
Similar to MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus, and it originates in bats (CDC, 2020). For more Coronavirus background information, refer to our previous article on the interim coding guidance from the CDC.
How to code patient exposure to COVID-19
This excerpt from the ICD-10-CM Official Coding and Reporting Guidelines outlines how the medical codes for suspected exposure to Coronavirus (CDC, 2020):
“For cases where there is a concern about a possible exposure to COVID-19, but this is ruled out after evaluation, assign code Z03.818, Encounter for observation for suspected exposure to other biological agents ruled out.
“For cases where there is an actual exposure to someone who is confirmed or suspected (not ruled out) to have COVID-19, and the exposed individual either tests negative or the test results are unknown, assign code Z20.828, Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases. If the exposed individual tests positive for the COVID-19 virus, see guideline a).”
Review our previous article for more information about the COVID-19 medical coding and reporting guidelines, which are effective April 1 through September 30.
The Respiratory Diagnoses Hot Topics Webinar provides an overview of the Official Coding Guidelines for COVID-19, as well as how to code the Coronavirus infections and patient encounters, effective April 1. See more here.
Stay tuned for “COVID-19 Explained: Part 2 – Coding Possible Infection & Symptoms” on our YES Blog. Part 3 dives into the coding guidelines for Coronavirus testing.
Does your organization need to develop a plan for ongoing coder education? Get in touch with YES HIM Consulting today to see how we can help you improve coding quality.