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Confronting Zika Virus with Appropriate Medical Billing and Coding

After the outbreak of Ebola in many parts of Africa that also infected many US residents last year, healthcare workers have now been notified to tackle another tormenting disease, in the form of the Zika virus. This deadly disease has been a constant threat to toddlers and mothers. Observing the rising number of patient’s queuing to take treatment for the virus, it is a wise thing to check the appropriate medical billing and coding procedures to process the billing.

There have been a few articles written lately on the recent public health crisis to draw everybody’s attention to the Zika virus/infection, which at present is spreading in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Understand the symptoms that will help enhance documentation

This infection is a flavivirus that causes flu-like side effects in patients. A contaminated mosquito spreads the infection. The greatest danger the infection possesses is its effect on pregnant women. There are a few considerations that the Zika virus might be identified with the increase of microcephaly infants. Infants with microcephaly have bizarrely little heads.

How can the condition be coded?

The Index under the fundamental term of “virus” does not have a section for the Zika virus. The Index does also exclude alternatives under “Zika”. The code for other specified virus/infection is B33.8 (Other specified viral ailments), yet this needs data showing that the condition is mosquito-borne. This viral infection is like Dengue fever (A90), so looking into the alternatives close to this code, A92.8 (which is entitled “Other indicated mosquito-borne viral fevers”), might be the best choice.

For those inpatient coders, this code is a CC in the MS-DRG system.  This can eventually prove to be a handy tip for professionals working at the medical billing and coding agency, to process an errors free billing procedure.

For pregnant women who have contracted the virus, what might the coding resemble?

There is a section under “Pregnancy, complicated by viral sickness” that yields O98.51-(Other viral illnesses complicating pregnancy). The dash would be finished with the present trimester of the patient and would be the 6th character. Also, there are codes for the patient who delivers (O98.52) and for the lady who has had a child, however, may need extra care (O98.53).

In auditing the tabular list for coding directions, there is a “Use additional code (Chapter 1) to recognize particular infectious or parasitic diseases” guideline. Once more, for the inpatient coders, this condition is a CC in the MS-DRG procedure.

For the infant conceived with microcephaly, the condition would be coded as Q02. The Index expression, microcephaly, has the default code of Q02. There are no instructional notes connected with this fundamental code. Unlike the pregnancy and viral codes mentioned above, this code, Q02, is not a CC in the MS-DRG system.

The Zika infection may soon become one of the major public health issues in the US. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider the Zika infection a large scale general wellbeing concern, another code might be made before Oct. 1, 2016.


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