World Hepatitis DayEvery year, World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is observed worldwide on July 28. Sponsored by the World Hepatitis Alliance, the event is a global platform to make the common people aware about viral hepatitis – one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year. The 2018 annual one-day campaign aims to call on people from across the world to take action, raise awareness and join in the quest to find the “missing millions”. Hepatitis refers to an inflammation of the liver cells which is usually the result of a viral infection or liver damage caused by drinking alcohol. There are different types of hepatitis viruses and the three most common types include – hepatitis A, B and C. All three types can be acute, (lasting for 6 months or less) and infections with any of these three can be fatal. Each type has different characteristics, but the symptoms tend to be similar. Treatment options for this condition depend on the type of hepatitis a person suffers from and whether the infection is acute or chronic. Prevention of this condition can be done through immunizations and lifestyle precautions. For correct clinical documentation of this condition, physicians can consider medical billing outsourcing services.

Reports suggest that about 325 million people worldwide are living with viral hepatitis unaware. It is estimated that about two in every three liver cancer deaths occur due to this condition. Generally, liver function includes storing vitamins, detoxifying the blood and producing hormones. However, hepatitis can disrupt these processes and create severe health problems throughout the body. Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly and include – fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, abdominal pain, flu-like symptoms, unexplained weight loss and yellow skin and eyes.

World Hepatitis Day was first observed as “International Hepatitis C Awareness Day” by the patient groups of European and Middle Eastern regions in October 2004. With an objective to make this a better awareness campaign in 2008, the World Hepatitis Alliance declared May 19th as the first World Hepatitis Day (in association with the patient groups). However, the date was again changed and finalized to July 28th globally to honor the “Nobel Laureate Baruch Samuel Blumberg” on his birthday anniversary (28th of July) as he discovered the hepatitis B virus.

The theme for 2018 WHD is “Eliminate Hepatitis”, which focuses on eliminating viral hepatitis through effective vaccines and treatments. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy of Viral Hepatitis, the goal is to eliminate hepatitis by 2030.

The 2018 annual one-day campaign is observed to encourage the common people to understand the need for early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hepatitis infections. Diagnosis of this condition involves a physical examination and detailed evaluation of medical history to determine the risk factors for any infectious or non-infectious hepatitis. Several imaging tests such as liver function tests, ultrasound, liver biopsy and other blood tests will also be conducted as part of the diagnosis. Treatment for this inflammatory condition depends on the type of infections and whether it is acute of chronic. In most cases, Hepatitis A doesn’t require any treatment and bed rest may be recommended if symptoms cause a great deal of discomfort. Antiviral medications are used to treat both acute and chronic forms of hepatitis B and C. Liver transplant will be recommended for those people who develop cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver disease as a result of chronic hepatitis C.

The diagnosis, screening tests and other procedures performed by gastroenterologists or hepatologists must be carefully documented using the correct medical codes. Medical billing and coding services provided by reputable medical billing companies can help physicians use the correct codes for their medical billing purposes.

ICD-10 codes used for Viral Hepatitis include –

B15 – Acute hepatitis A

  • B15.0 – Hepatitis A with hepatic coma
  • B15.9 – Hepatitis A without hepatic coma

B16 – Acute hepatitis B

  • B16.0 – Acute hepatitis B with delta-agent with hepatic coma
  • B16.1 – Acute hepatitis B with delta-agent without hepatic coma
  • B16.2 – Acute hepatitis B without delta-agent with hepatic coma
  • B16.9 – Acute hepatitis B without delta-agent and without hepatic coma

B17 – Other acute viral hepatitis

  • B17.0 – Acute delta-(super) infection of hepatitis B carrier

B17.1 – Acute hepatitis C

  • B17.10 – Acute hepatitis C, without hepatic coma
  • B17.11 – Acute hepatitis C, with hepatic coma

B17.2 – Acute hepatitis E
B17.8 – Other specified acute viral hepatitis
B17.9 – Acute viral hepatitis, unspecified

B18 – Chronic viral hepatitis

  • B18.0 – Chronic viral hepatitis B with delta-agent
  • B18.1 – Chronic viral hepatitis B without delta-agent
  • B18.2 – Chronic viral hepatitis C
  • B18.8 – Other chronic viral hepatitis
  • B18.9 – Chronic viral hepatitis, unspecified

B19 – Unspecified viral hepatitis

  • B19.0 – Unspecified viral hepatitis with hepatic coma

B19.1 – Unspecified viral hepatitis B

  • B19.10 – Unspecified viral hepatitis B, without hepatic coma
  • B19.11 – Unspecified viral hepatitis B, with hepatic coma

B19.2 – Unspecified viral hepatitis C

  • B19.20 – Unspecified viral hepatitis C, without hepatic coma
  • B19.21 – Unspecified viral hepatitis C, with hepatic coma

B19.9 – Unspecified viral hepatitis without hepatic coma

On WHD, the World Hepatitis Alliance is launching a three-year global awareness campaign which aims to focus on “Finding the Missing Millions”. The 3-year global awareness campaign aims to educate, influence national screening policies and encourage more people to get tested with the hope of finding the missing millions and reducing further spread of the virus.

World Hepatitis Day is celebrated around the world in venues including public places, healthcare organizations and clinical areas. A variety of activities including free screenings, tests, diagnoses, poster campaigns, vaccination camps, concerts, talk shows, diet educations, and discussions on healthcare topics will be organized. Organizers will also focus on increasing public awareness through social media platforms.

Join World Hepatitis Day Campaign on July 28! Spread awareness of viral hepatitis and the preventive and control measures that need to be taken.