Coding Tip: How to code Clostridium Difficile Enterocolitis (C.diff)
This Coding Tip was updated on 12/10/2018
Kim Carrier RHIT, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P
Director of Coding Quality Assurance
AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
What is Clostridium Difficile Enterocolitis?
Clostridium Difficile Enterocolitis (C. diff) is a diagnosis that coders see a lot these days. This is a bacteria that causes inflammation in the large intestine (colitis) and may cause watery diarrhea, fever, nausea and abdominal pain. C. diff causes antibiotic-associated colitis by colonizing the intestine after the normal gut flora is altered by the use of antibiotic therapy. The bacteria is most often found in older patients or those that require prolonged use of antibiotics. The bacteria is shed in feces and people may become infected if they touch a surface that has been contaminated (e.g., commode, bathtub) and then touch their mouth or mucous membranes. Healthcare workers may also spread the bacteria to patients and/or contaminate surfaces through hand contact. In fact, it is one of the most common healthcare associated infections. There are multiple interesting statistics and further information in the AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS, Page: 4.
The type of treatment of C. diff depends on the patient. In some cases, discontinuation of an antibiotic is all that is needed. Oftentimes, however, patients need to be placed on a different type of antibiotic. Metronidazole (Flagyl), Vancomycin or Fidaxomicin are the most common medications used to treat C. diff. Bezlotoxumab (ZINPLAVA) is used to treat patients that are at high risk for recurrence or those that are already receiving another antibiotic. Fecal transplantation is recommended for patients with multiple recurrences of the bacterial colitis.
New Code for FY2018
There is now a new code for reporting recurrent C. difficile colitis for discharges after 10/1/2017. This code should be reported based only on provider documentation. By adding the new code to show recurrent infections, better statistical analysis will be had.
From the ICD-10-CM Index
Colitis(acute) (catarrhal) (chronic) (noninfective) (hemorrhagic) (see also Enteritis) K52.9
food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome K52.21
amebic(acute) (see also Amebiasis) A06.0
bacillary- see Infection, Shigella
not specified as recurrent A04.72
It is important that coders report procedure codes for administration of Bezlotoxumab (ZINPLAVA.) This drug reduces recurrence of CDI because, unlike antibacterial drugs, it is a human monoclonal antibody targeting C. diff toxin B and does not affect the GI microbiota. It is supplied as a 1000 mg/40 mL (25 mg/ML) solutions in a single-dose vial. Recommended dose is 10 mg/Kg administered as an intravenous infusion over 60 minutes.
Bezlotxumab (ZINPLAVA) administration is assigned to codes XW033A3 and XW043A3. Since this is a FY2018 approved technology, $1,900 add on payment is received by the hospital in addition to DRG for this treatment. It is important that coders report this procedure code if given to the patient.
AHA Coding Clinic, Fourth Quarter 2017 Page: 4
The information contained in this coding advice is valid at the time of posting. Viewers are encouraged to research subsequent official guidance in the areas associated with the topic as they can change rapidly.
In the past, there had been an Excludes1 note at I46.- Cardiac arrest that excluded R57.0, Cardiac shock. HIA had also received a letter from AHA on a case in the past that had stated that only I46.- Cardiac arrest would be coded if both were documented. In addition, the Third Quarter Coding Clinic page 26 had a similar case that asked if both could be coded, and AHA had instructed that only I46.9, cardiac arrest, cause unspecified would be coded if both were documented and that the CDC would be looking at possible revision to the Excludes1 note.
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If the facility does a COVID-19 test, and test is negative, do I need a diagnosis code. The answer is yes, you will report a Z-code. The Z-code depends on the record documentation and circumstances of testing. For any patient receiving a COVID-19 test, if negative, there MUST e a Z-code to describe why the test was taken. (Test negative for COVID-19 and MD does not override negative results).
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With the proliferation of COVID-19 cases, we thought we would put together a quick reference listing of some of the common scenarios that coders have asked about. As with all coding, coders should follow Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting and the COVD-19 Frequently Asked Questions document by the AHA.
Effective March 1, Medicare will pay physicians for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person visits for all diagnoses, not just services related to COVID-19. This great for providers whose patients are reluctant to visit the office.
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This is part two of a three part series in which we address how coders can better interact with Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) professionals. In this part, we discuss mismatches and how to best go about resolving them. In part three we will provide a case example of best practice interaction.
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