Coding Tip: Body Mass Index (BMI) Reporting in Pregnancy

by Nov 2, 2018Industry News, Kim Carrier, Medical Coding Tips0 comments

Kim Carrier RHIT, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P
Director of Coding Quality Assurance
AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

With the publication of the new ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting for FY 2019, we finally have an answer regarding reporting of BMI in pregnancy. The new guideline does state “do not assign BMI codes during pregnancy.” A female of normal weight at conception that gains the recommended 25 to 35 pounds during the pregnancy will have a BMI that measures in the overweight range at the time of delivery. This is not a true reflection of the patient being overweight or having too much body fat.

What is BMI in Adults?

This is the body mass (weight) divided by the body height and is expressed in units kg/m2. The BMI is used to determine the amount of tissue mass (muscle, fat and bone) in a person. This is then used to help determine if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. The BMI can be used to screen for body fat but is not diagnostic. These values are different depending on the population (such as the Asian population vs. European).

Common BMI Ranges:

  • Underweight is under 18.5 kg/m2
  • Normal weight is 18.5 to 25 kg/m2
  • Overweight is 25 to 30 kg/m2
  • Obese is over 30 kg/m2

Common Diseases Associated with High BMI (Overweight/Obese):

  • Hypertension
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Stroke
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Osteoarthritis or general body pain
  • Depression
  • Low quality of life
  • Malignancy

ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting FY 2019 Page 94

Happy Coding!

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.

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