Diagnosis coding has taken somewhat of a backseat to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) coding for many years in the outpatient setting. While it was necessary once a year to update coding lists or software with changes to the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code set, that was about it. As long as a diagnosis code would support getting paid for the supply or service represented by the CPT or Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System code, there wasn't a lot of focus on complete and accurate diagnosis coding. Often unspecified codes have been reported because of lack of documentation to support more specific reporting. But with diagnosis codes driving many quality initiatives, new payment strategies based on episodes of care, and International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) on its way, it may be time to focus on codes for the conditions that...

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