Reimbursement Advisor

Come October 1, a multitude of ICD-9 code additions and revisions arrive

Author and Disclosure Information

OBs get codes for unremarkable sonograms ordered on the basis of suspicion. For gyn practice, options expand for abnormal Pap smear results. Here are the details.


The author reports no financial relationships relevant to this article.

OBs get codes for unremarkable sonograms ordered on the basis of suspicion. For gyn practice, options expand for abnormal Pap smear results. Here are the details.

Revisions and additions to the International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) for 2009, which take effect on October 1, 2008, bring especially good news to obstetricians who are testing for “conditions not found,” evaluating or treating twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, dealing with the aftermath of maternal surgery, and providing the correct diagnostic code match for screening tests.

Gyn practitioners, don’t feel slighted: Many new codes take effect on that October day, covering abnormal Pap smear results, prophylactic drug treatment, breast conditions, and taking a patient’s personal history.

Remember: 1) October 1 is the key date here—when all the new and revised codes described in this article (and others not reviewed here) are added to the national code set, and 2) as in past years, there will be no grace period!

New and revised OB codes


How many times have you ordered a sonogram for a suspected problem with a pregnancy, only to have the scan reveal that all is normal? You then had to use either 1) a screening code for the condition or 2) an unspecified code because you could not assign a code that gave a condition to the patient that she did not have.

With addition of a new category of codes (V89), this obstetrical problem will be solved.

V89.01 Suspected problem with amniotic cavity and membrane not found

V89.02 Suspected placenta not found

V89.03 Suspected fetal anomaly not found

V89.04 Suspected problem with fetal growth not found

V89.05 Suspected cervical shortening not found

V89.09 Other suspected maternal and fetal condition not found


Women undergo cervical shortening normally as their body prepares for labor, of course, but, on occasion, cervical shortening can indicate impending premature birth. Until now, you might have reflected this condition with 654.5x (Cervical incompetence complicating pregnancy), 654.6x (Other congenital or acquired abnormality of cervix), or 644.1x (Other threatened labor). Starting October 1, however, you’ll have a more precise code available to report this condition: 649.7x (Cervical shortening).


The V23 category of codes, which represent supervision of high-risk pregnancy, becomes more specific with two additions: V23.85 (Pregnancy resulting from assisted reproductive technology) and V23.86 (Pregnancy with history of in utero procedure during previous pregnancy).


How to select the right code to report a screening test has been less than clear. Were you performing it to screen for malformation of a fetus? Some other reason? Three new antenatal codes and revision of an existing code (V28.3) clarify the distinction.

V28.3 Encounter for routine screening for malformation using ultrasonics

V28.81 Encounter for fetal anatomic survey

V28.82 Encounter for screening for risk of preterm labor

V28.89 Other specified antenatal screening

ICD-9-CM now directs that the latter code, V28.89, be reported for screening as part of chorionic villus sampling, nuchal translucency testing, genomic screening, and proteomic screening.


At last, you have a specific code for fetal conjoined twins (678.1x) and one for such fetal hematologic conditions as fetal anemia, thrombocytopenia, and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (678.0x).

In addition, complications from an in utero procedure will have two new codes: 679.0x (Maternal complications from in utero procedure) and 679.1x (Fetal complications from in utero procedure).

Gynecologic code changes and additions


You already know to look at the 795 series for ICD-9 codes to support various abnormal Pap smear results; after October 1, you’ll have a lot of new options.

Key developments:

  • The risk of dysplasia and carcinoma is the same for the anus as it is for the cervix, so physicians can take anal cytologic smears.
  • The cervix and the anus both have transformation zones where mucosa turns from squamous to columnar, so parallel codes have been created for anal smears.
In creating these new codes, ICD-9-CM modified existing abnormal cervical cytology codes to indicate a result in which the transformation zone is absent in the specimen. But, because the vagina and vulva do not have transitional zones, ICD-9-CM expanded and redefined subcategory 795.1 for an abnormal smear of the vagina and vulva. Until now, 795.1 was reported for any abnormal Pap result from a site other than the cervix.

The new codes are listed below.


795.07 Satisfactory cervical smear but lacking transformation zone


795.10 Abnormal Papanicolaou smear of vagina

795.11 Papanicolaou smear of vagina with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US)

Next Article: