Capturing NIH Stroke Scale

What scores should be coded for NIH Stroke Scale?  The first score provided by the physician? , the highest score during the stay?  Wondering what other facilities are doing.  Thank you!


  • Hi Cbutka,

    I code the first documented NIH score in case the patient has an established diagnosis of stroke. The scores can vary depending on interval changes in level of consciousness or neurological deficits resolving as a result of intervention from the clinical staff. Also note if CVA was subsequently ruled out, I would not code the NIH score since it’s a tool used for objectively quantifying the impairment caused by a stroke. When in doubt query the provider if there is conflicting documentation. Great question!

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