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Inpatient FAQ: Coding a Blister in the Absence of Trauma

Published on 

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

 | Coding 


We have a patient record where documentation stated the patient had two large blisters on her RLE that received wound care. The patient had a history of PVD and had the left great toe amputated during a prior hospitalization. In the encoder, Blister is assigned to S80.821A, Blister (nonthermal), Right Lower Leg. However, in this case there was no documentation of trauma occurring in this patient, so I don’t think that code is appropriate. What code should be assigned for blisters of the RLE?



You are correct about not assigning the trauma code as there was no documentation of trauma causing the blisters. There was documentation in the record of more than one blister, so under Blister in the encoder, there is an option of coding this to, “multiple, skin, nontraumatic”. The correct code in this case for blisters of the RLE is, Other Skin Changes (R23.8).



TruCode Encoder


Article Author: Anita Meyers, RHIT, CCS
Anita Meyers, RHIT, CCS, is an Inpatient Coding Professional at Medical Management Plus. Anita has over twenty-six years of experience in inpatient and outpatient coding including 17 years of work at AQAF reviewing inpatient and outpatient records from Alabama hospitals. In addition to reviewing records she was the team leader in Beneficiary Services where she participated in case review activities, received and processed beneficiary complaints and handled fee-for-service denials for home health, hospice and skilled nursing facility services. Prior to joining the MMP team, Anita left AQAF to become an inpatient contract coder and worked at various hospitals in central Alabama. In her current position, Anita is an integral part of the Inpatient Services at Medical Management Plus.

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.