If you are a medical coder, you know how critical assigning the correct medical codes to the relevant procedures is. A small mistake in assigning the medical code can lead to an insurance claim denial, ultimately resulting in a revenue loss. Dyspnea is one of the medical conditions that often confuses medical coders during the assignment of medical codes. So in this blog, we will discuss in detail how to bill Dyspnea using the correct ICD-10 codes.
What Is Dyspnea?
Dyspnea is a medical condition in which a person suffers from shortness of breath. The individual who suffers from Dyspnea usually can’t get enough air into his lungs, resulting in being out of breath.
Common Types of Dyspnea
1- Acute Dyspnea
Acute Dyspnea is the type of Dyspnea in which a person suddenly experiences episodes of Dyspnea due to some illness. It’s important to note that you can breathe normally between episodes. Moreover, acute Dyspnea usually doesn’t last very long and only lasts a few hours to a few days.
Acute Dyspnea can be developed for several health conditions and illnesses, such as:
● Panic Attacks
● Chest trauma
● Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
● Lung infections such as pneumonia
● Pleural Effusion
2- Chronic Dyspnea
Compared to acute Dyspnea, chronic Dyspnea is a more severe and critical health condition in which a person experiences shortness of breath for longer. The worst thing about chronic Dyspnea is that it keeps coming back. If you have been suffering from chronic Dyspnea for quite some time, you might start feeling out of breath even after performing an activity like climbing stairs.
Some of the common health conditions that trigger chronic Dyspnea include:
● Congestive heart failure or heart attack
● Chronic illnesses such as cancer and renal failure
● Lungs diseases such as Pulmonary Hypertension, COPD, and lung cancer
What Causes Dyspnea?
Various reasons, including anxiety, exercise, allergy, and other illnesses like cold flu, can cause dyspnea.
Apart from that, certain medical conditions such as angina attack, anaphylaxis, and blood clotting can also cause Dyspnea in a person.
Diagnostic Tests for Dyspnea
Several medical tests can help with the diagnosis of Dyspnea. These medical tests include:
1- Blood Tests:
Various blood tests help identify a health condition that might be causing Dyspnea.
A Hematocrit test is one of the blood tests for anemia to check how much oxygen the blood can carry.
Moreover, there is another blood test called the BNP test that helps determine if there is fluid buildup in the lungs.
2- Chest Imaging:
Chest imaging is another standard medical test that is performed for the diagnosis of lung diseases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT scan of the chest are some medical tests to diagnose a lung disease that might be the underlying cause behind Dyspnea.
Spirometry is a widespread breathing test that is usually done to measure how much oxygen a person breathes in and out of his lungs. Spirometry is done to identify if a person suffers from breath shortness or wheezing.
4- Pulmonary Function Test:
A pulmonary function test is very much similar to spirometry as it is also performed to measure the breathing capability of a person. However, a pulmonary function test gives us a more detailed insight into how efficiently the lungs work by identifying the breathing rate and pattern.
An Echocardiography is a cardiac ultrasound test conducted to examine a human heart’s health. An Echocardiography helps in finding if there is any heart disease or condition associated with Dyspnea.
6- Treadmill Exercise Stress Test:
A treadmill stress test evaluates whether the heart is functioning correctly and if the breathing pattern is optimal, particularly when the oxygen demand exceeds the supply.
Treatment for Dyspnea
If Dyspnea is not that serious, it can be treated with medication. For instance, if Dyspnea is caused by heart failure, it can be treated with diuretics. Similarly, if asthma or COPD is the underlying cause behind Dyspnea, then a short-acting bronchodilator is used to mitigate it.
2- Surgical Procedures:
If Dyspnea is caused by a more serious structural problem such as chest trauma, surgical treatment is necessary in that case.
In critical cases, there may be a need to insert a chest tube to relieve the pressure caused by pneumothorax or a pulmonary effusion.
In some cases, there is even a need for major surgery to remove a lung tumor or some blood to relieve chest trauma.
3- Oxygen and Respiratory Assistance:
There are conditions when someone suffering from Dyspnea might need an oxygen supply for breathing assistance. In such critical conditions, respiratory assistance via intubation or non-invasive ventilation is provided to help that person breathe.
What are the Billing Codes for Dyspnea?
As a healthcare provider or medical coder, it’s essential that youknow your ICD-10 codes to billfor diagnosis and treatment related to Dyspnea.
If you need to know the new ICD-10 codes for Dyspnea, then below is the list of all the ICD medical codes for Dyspnea.
● R06: For any abnormality in breathing
● R06.0: For Dyspnea
● R06.00: For Dyspnea unspecified
● R06.01: For Orthopnea
● R06.02: For shortness of breath
● R06.03: For acute respiratory distress
● R06.09: For other forms of Dyspnea