The American Hospital Association AHA Coding Clinic is a publication offering official guidance to physicians and providers for reporting of conditions in response to questions and where the instructions of the official code set are unclear. The following recent guidance (AHA Coding Clinic, 2018, Vol 5, No. 2) may be of particular value to pediatricians.

Parents and other caregivers often seek a pediatrician’s confirmation that a child is uninjured after a motor vehicle or other accident has occurred. Codes Z04.1–Z04.3 identify examination and observation following a transport, work, or other type of accident. It may seem logical to include a diagnosis code indicating accident information (ie, an external cause code) in addition to a code for examination and observation following an accident. However, this is not the case. Per Coding Clinic, “The external cause code indicates an injury, health condition or adverse effect has occurred, and these...

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