Influenza with COPD exacerbation

It's that time of year when we are seeing a significant number of influenza cases that present with influenza and  COPD exacerbation.  Please clarify:  patient's who present with both COPD exacerbation and influenza (No pneumonia)  can be coded to either the COPD exacerbation or the influenza.  Is that correct?  


  • The primary diagnosis selection would be based on which condition was the focus of treatment.  If both are equally treated with equal resources expended you could pick either one.  On the surface an exacerbation sounds like a "more acute" condition and I wouldn't be surprised to see more resources expended for it.

    Erik J. Kilbo, RHIA, CCS, CPC-I, CCDS, CDIP

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