COVID Pneumonia as a PDx on a readmitted patient with Negative COVID results


  I am wondering if other facilities are running into patients being readmitted into the hospital with COVID pneumonia. At our facility the patient had a recent COVID positive pneumonia (within 1 week of readmission) and readmitted with worsening COVID pneumonia. The provider is documenting COVID pneumonia due to recent COVID. The patient does not have active COVID and the test is negative. COVID pneumonia cannot be coded as PDx and when running through the encoder automatically codes U071 as though the COVID-19 is active. We can manually delete the COVID code but that still leaves us with a PDx problem if the pneumonia was the reason for admission.  How would you code this account?  What would your PDx be?  Would there be a query opportunity?

 I am also curious as to what other facilities are seeing as far as how long out from initial COVID diagnosis the patients are before the docs start saying COVID recovered.



  • Good Morning, I think many of us struggle to get this right. We are using a 14 day window for active COVID-19 capturing. We have dedicated units for active COVID patients. When patients return after a previous stay and no longer require isolation for COVID, we try and determine what bought the bed. In your description, patient is negative for COVID-19. I would question if they are now treating a bacterial pneumonia with the use of antibiotics versus a viral pneumonia from COVID? We are trying to have conversations with our providers on these cases as the documentation is not always clear. Hope this may help you!

  • Thanks for your feedback

  • We are having the same issue. Some Physicians are adamant that the COVID has resolved but they are readmitted with COVID Pneumonia which is evident on Chest x-ray with a negative test. I submitted this scenario to Coding Clinic and their response is that they are currently reviewing a similar situation and would respond to me once they came to a resolution. I am not sure how to code it in the interim since you automatically get a COVID dx code when you code COVID Pneumonia.

  • We are wondering the same thing! We get transfers from outside hospitals that have been treated for CoVid, now have IgG antibodies, and are considered as no longer active CoVid. Yet they have CoVid PNA(usually with superimposed bacterial PNA).  We can't find an answer anywhere about coding the covid pna, without coding CoVid.

    Maybe as viral pneumonia-other specified?

  • Thanks for your input.  We were thinking the same with a query to specify and viral or bacterial pneumonia.  If you hear anything back from Coding clinic, please share.

  • A recent webinar I attended gave organizing pneumonia as sequela of previous COVID-19 infection as a possible choice? I hope Coding Clinic responds soon. Yes, please share.

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