Medical Coding Viral Syndrome and Bronchitis

Laureen: Q-30: I am ER coder, and the MD’s
frequently provide a final diagnosis of viral syndrome, and bronchitis. Would both conditions
be coded? A: Well, basically, what you have to figure
out is one considered bundled, or symptom of the other, in this case I don’t… I would
say no. Right, Alicia, which, I would code both. Alicia: Bronchitis doesn’t tell you to…because
it’s an inflammation. Viral syndrome, they may want to know what the virus is, and if
it is, then you could code that. But, yeah, you can code both of those, because a viral
syndrome and bronchitis are two separate things. So, viral syndrome, there’s a code for that
— and she’s got it there — but that’s also an unspecified code, so that’s not necessarily
a good thing to do an unspecified. They want to know what type of viral things going on,
viral syndrome is catch-all. Laureen: Catch-all. Yeah. Jinx. Alicia: Yeah, but it’s okay to put them both
in there. Laureen: And you know, so the rule of thumb
is like the patient has sore throat and strep throat, you don’t code both because the sore
throat is part of strep throat. But when it’s questionable, you’re not sure, my rule of
thumb is go ahead and code both because it’s documented. Alicia: That’s right.

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