Morbid Obesity Denials

I reviewed a chart with the dx of Morbid obesity noted only in the ER MD's ROS under the GI section. Patient's BMI was > or equal to 40.  The attending MD did not note obesity in his documentation. Coder requested a query to clarify the obesity, as this would be a CC. CDI placed a query for the obesity to the attending, however after no response from MD, I informed my CDI supervisor of the next step with this MD. However, upon CDI supervisor review of this chart and the pending query for MD, my supervisor informed me as noted:

"This was just noting she had an obese stomach. I do not feel this is a reportable diagnosis. There was no complication, monitoring or treatment for the obesity. I’ve gotten quite a few denials for this. She was able to plan her own meals and no nutritionists were on the case. I would delete the query and notify the coder."

It was my understanding that morbid obesity would be clinically significant since this condition may require "increase nursing care" and increased risk for complication. 

Any thoughts on this one...







Comments

  • alee2020 said:
    I reviewed a chart with the dx of Morbid obesity noted only in the ER MD's ROS under the GI section. Patient's BMI was > or equal to 40.  The attending MD did not note obesity in his documentation. Coder requested a query to clarify the obesity, as this would be a CC. CDI placed a query for the obesity to the attending, however after no response from MD, I informed my CDI supervisor of the next step with this MD. However, upon CDI supervisor review of this chart and the pending query for MD, my supervisor informed me as noted:

    "This was just noting she had an obese stomach. I do not feel this is a reportable diagnosis. There was no complication, monitoring or treatment for the obesity. I’ve gotten quite a few denials for this. She was able to plan her own meals and no nutritionists were on the case. I would delete the query and notify the coder."

    It was my understanding that morbid obesity would be clinically significant since this condition may require "increase nursing care" and increased risk for complication. 

    Any thoughts on this one...








  • Volume 5         Fourth Quarter

    Number 4         2018, Page 77

     

    Body Mass Index

     

    The AHA Central Office has received many questions about assigning body mass index (BMI) codes. The following questions and answers are being published in response to many requests for assistance and to clear up any confusion.

     

    Question:

    Is there a list of diagnosis codes that are associated with the body mass index (BMI) measurement codes? Can BMI codes be assigned without a corresponding documented diagnosis of overweight, obesity or morbid obesity from the provider?

     

    Answer:

    No, the provider must provide documentation of a clinical condition, such as overweight, obesity or morbid obesity, to justify reporting a code for the body mass index. As stated in the Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, Section I.B.14, the associated diagnosis (such as overweight or obesity) must be documented by the patient’s provider.  If the linkage between the BMI and a clinical condition is not clearly documented, query the provider for clarification. ICD-10-CM does not provide definitions or a list of diagnosis codes associated with BMI.

     

    Question:

    If the provider documents obesity or morbid obesity in the history and physical and/or discharge summary only, without any additional documentation to support the clinical significance of this condition, can it be coded? There is no other documentation to support clinical significance for this condition such as evaluation, treatment, increased monitoring, or increased nursing care, etc.

     

    Answer:

    Obesity and morbid obesity are always clinically significant and reportable when documented by the provider. In addition, if documented, the body mass index (BMI) code may be coded in addition to the obesity or morbid obesity code.

     

  • Thanks so much Paul for the reply. Information is very helpful!
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