General Question for the Week of October 26, 2015

General Compliance Question of the Week


Our physicians are confused as to when to report the seventh-character extension in ICD-10 codes. Can you provide any guidance on this?


In her October 12 article in ICD-10monitor, AHIMA-certified trainer Deborah Grider explains that the seventh character is required to report accidents, injuries, and fracture care, as well as poisonings. Many physicians now are beginning to understand that not all categories will require a seventh character. But they ask: For those diagnoses that do, when do you report initial encounter versus subsequent encounters? Report the seventh character for the initial encounter for active treatment, which may or may not include the first visit. The subsequent seventh character is reported for the healing phase or follow-up phase of treatment. For more information on this, see “ICD-10 is up and Running, but Much Anxiety Remains” at

Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.