Reimbursement Advisor

The friable cervix: Code the symptom

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Q I have searched, but cannot find a code for what the physician is calling a “friable cervix.” Can you help?

A The friable cervix is one that is prone to bleeding. The underlying cause is usually chlamydia infection, cervical erosion, or, sometimes, cervical cancer.

If the physician is trying to rule out infection or if all tests are negative, use the code for the patient’s symptom. Possible choices include cervical inflammation (616.0), cervical erosion (622.0), pain with intercourse (625.0), and other abnormal bleeding from the female genital tract (626.8). Once the reason for the friable cervix is determined, that becomes the diagnosis.

Ms. Witt, former program manager in the Department of Coding and Nomenclature at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is an independent coding and documentation consultant. Reimbursement Adviser reflects the most commonly accepted interpretations of CPT-4 and ICD-9-CM coding. When in doubt on a coding or billing matter, check with your individual payer.

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