At the time I am writing this article, the U.S. has confirmed over 4.2 million cases of COVID-19 and 144,000 deaths nationwide, and as the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to seemingly increase daily, The World Health Organization had to develop codes for classification of Covid-19 cases.
The World Health Organization Family of International Classifications (WHOFIC) Network Classification and Statistics Advisory Committee (CSAC) had an emergency meeting on 31st of January 2020 to discuss the creation of a specific code for the new coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
World Health Organization (WHO) has established a new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) emergency code (U07.1, 2019-nCov acute respiratory disease). The virus name 2019-nCov was updated to the International Classification of Disease, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) following a thorough evaluation by a Technical Advisory Panel and extensive additional consultation clinical coders, physician groups and others in other to ensure clinical utility and accuracy.
International Classification of Diseases Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) is a mode of classification used by physicians, health practitioners, and other healthcare providers to code and classify all symptoms, diagnoses, and procedures. Using ICD-10-CM codes help coders, physicians, nurses, health information managers, and other healthcare providers in the storage and retrieval of diagnostic information. International Classification of Disease records is used to compile national morbidity and mortality statistics.
International Classification of Diseases code, is thereby used in the coding of Covid-19 cases for proper documentation because it provides more information about the severity of a patient’s condition.
CODES FOR CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Different codes are assigned for Covid-19 cases. This makes it easy for the healthcare provider, nurses, physicians, health information managers to have accurate information on different cases and also to take precautions.
DIAGNOSIS CODES FOR COVID-19
• Positive Covid-19 Code
• Suspected Covid-19 Code
• Screening for Covid-19 Code
• Exposure to Covid-19 Code
• Fetal Exposure to Covid-19 Code
POSITIVE COVID-19 CODE
There is an assigned code for the positive Covid-19 case. The assigned code for positive Novel Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) test or presumptive Covid-19 test is documented by health as U07.1.
Also, any contributory condition as secondary diagnosis codes to the U07.1 diagnosis is reported as follows. However, it is not limited to the below codes;
• J12.89 viral pneumonia
• J20.8 Acute bronchitis due to other specified organisms
• J22 Not specified acute lower respiratory infection
• J40 Bronchitis not specified as acute or chronic
• J98.8 Acute Respiratory distress syndrome
SUSPECTED COVID-19 CODE
For a suspected Covid-19 test result, U07.1 is not assigned, due to the fact that it is inconclusive. “Suspected” means it can likely be possible or not. The patients may likely be suffering from other diseases whereby the symptoms or signs may likely be similar to Covid-19 signs and symptoms. Assign code for such a case is Z20.828.
SCREENING FOR COVID-19 CODE
For people screened for Covid-19 but does not show symptoms or sign of Covid-19 and also have no exposure to the virus and the test result is either negative or unknown. The assigned code for such a test is Z11.59. Also, for an asymptomatic patient who tests positive for Covid-19, assign code is U07.1.
EXPOSURE TO COVID-19 CODE
Any individual being exposed to Covid-19 patients, the assigned code is Z03.818. However, this should be ruled out after evaluation. The exposed individual should be monitor.
Also, do not report if the patient has other signs and symptoms.
FETAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19 CODE
When a newborn is born to a mother whose Covid-19 status is positive, but the newborn status is unknown, the assigned code is Z05.1. The newborn should be observed and monitor.
However, if the newborn Covid-19 status is positive, assign U07.1 and P00.2. This will tell the physician about the baby’s status.
The use of The International Classification of Disease Code for Covid-19 is intended to help provide accurate information on Covid-19 cases, as well as keeping the reporting as well documented as possible.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19:
Covid-19 which belongs to the family of viruses called Coronavirus is no longer a new disease to the World.
Covid-19 is a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) which was first identified amid an outbreak in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The outbreak quickly spread around the world and it was initially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31st, 2019. WHO immediately declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency and on the 11th of March, 2020 the WHO declared COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.
Covid-19 is one of the seven types of coronavirus, including the ones that cause severe diseases like Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It spreads in the same way other coronavirus spread, mainly through person-to-person contact. Covid-19 symptom severity can range from mild to severe or deadly. Some people may experience no symptoms, some people may experience few symptoms while it maybe worsened in some people.
Covid-19 complications may also be caused by a condition known as cytokine release syndrome or a cytokine storm. This is a situation when an infection triggers your immune system to flood your bloodstream with inflammatory proteins called cytokines. They can cause organ damage and kill tissues. This novel coronavirus can lead to pneumonia, septic shock, respiratory failure, and even death.
Older populations are at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19 and the risk increases with age. People who have exiting underlying health conditions are also at higher risk of serious illness. The underlying medical condition that increases the risk of serious illness from Covid-19 includes:
• Diabetes type 2
• Chronic kidney disease
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• Heart diseases such as Cardiomyopathy or coronary artery disease and heart attack
• Sickle cell disease
• Poor immune system
• Liver disease
• Chronic lung disease e.g cystic fibrosis
• High blood Pressure
A person infected by Covid-19 may start to show symptoms from 2 to 14 days after exposure. The main symptoms include:
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty breathing
• Sore Throat
• Loss of smell or taste
If you exhibit any of these symptoms, please contact your physician immediately.