ICD-10 Cheat Sheet Building: Obstetrics

In my previous blog in this continuing series, I introduced two principles for building less bulky, more useful ICD-10 based cheat sheets. They are:

– Apply the 80/20 rule.

– Take advantage of recurring code patterns.

I am going to show you how these principles can be applied to make a much smaller ICD-10 cheat sheet for coding obstetrics encounters. The number of codes in the ICD-10 obstetrics chapter is about double: There are 1,104 ICD-9 codes and 2,155 ICD-10 codes. The vast majority of that increase comes from the application of a new level of detail across a broad range of codes. The increase can be easily managed here by ignoring the codes you don’t use much, just as you do in ICD-9 (80/20 rule), and by exploiting the regularity in the code structure itself to cut down on the number of individual codes you list on the sheet (recurring code patterns).

The 80/20 rule in obstetrics is easily applied to the codes describing maternal care for fetal problems, for example in the subcategory, O36.80 Pregnancy with inconclusive fetal viability. An additional character (think of it as a required modifier) has been added to such codes to catalogue which fetus is the focus of attention when the pregnancy is a multiple gestation. This results in significant fatty infiltration of the classification.

Read the rest of my latest blog at PhysBizTech.

Rhonda Butler is a Senior Clinical Research Analyst with 3M Health Information Systems.

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