Since the transition to reporting International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) took place, the addition of seventh characters to characterize the type of encounter for injuries and certain other conditions and the change from the term late effect to sequela have caused some confusion among physicians and coders. In this article, we will look again at the definition and guidelines for reporting sequelae.

Per the official guidelines for ICD-10-CM, a sequela is the residual effect (condition produced) after the acute phase of an illness or injury has terminated. There are a few key points to note in this definition.

Sequelae may appear soon or long after the initial onset of conditions. For instance, sequelae of a stroke may be apparent immediately following onset of the illness, but a sequela of child abuse may not be apparent until well after initial injuries are healed.

Coding of...

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