Q: A surgeon’s dictated report for a right hip hemiarthroplasty states the following: Of note, while drilling one of our transosseous suture holes with a 2.0 mm drill bit, the end of the drill bit broke off inside of the trochanter. It seemed to be quite deep into the bone and was not retrievable. As such, it was left in place. Should we report 998.4 (foreign body accidentally left during a procedure) for this case?
Q: Can you clarify the requirements surrounding the use of E codes? We have been working on documentation concerns related to patient safety indicator (PSI) 15 and wonder if E codes are required. Can a facility simply decide not to use them?
QUESTION: A patient was exposed to shingles, for which a coder reported ICD-9-CM code V01.79 (exposure to other viral diseases, including HIV). This poses a problem for billing as code V01.79 is a confidential diagnosis, requiring special release of information from the patient and would remain on the insurance record. As an RN and certified coder, I believed code V01.71 (exposure to varicella) is the correct code because the varicella virus causes both chicken pox and shingles. However, I am being overridden by the chief business office. Which code is correct?
QUESTION: A physician admits a 30-year-old male with lower abdominal pain. A CT scan showed consistency with perforated appendicitis. However, the patient had an appendectomy 10 months prior. The physician documents "appendiceal stump syndrome." How should I code this case?