Peripheral Artery Disease AwarenessPeripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition where the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms and legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis. Starting 2007, September has been observed as Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month. The month is dedicated to increase the public’s awareness about the risks of PAD as well as its association with other vascular diseases.

Caused primarily by atherosclerosis, other risk factors for the condition include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. As per the CDC website, approximately 8.5 million people in the United States have PAD, including 12-20% of individuals above age 60. Timely detection and treatment of PAD can improve the quality of one’s life and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and leg amputation.

Left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation. To prevent PAD, it is crucial to avoid tobacco products. The most common symptom is intermittent claudication, which is characterized by leg pain and weakness on walking, with disappearance of the symptoms following rest. Diagnosis includes reviewing vascular signs and symptoms and physical examination. Vascular physical examination includes measurement of the ankle-brachial index (ABI). ABI is a ratio of ankle and brachial systolic blood pressures. Smoking increases the chances of claudication and rest pain, amputation, heart attack and stroke. Imaging tests such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and computed tomographic (CT) angiography can provide additional information in diagnosing PAD.

Minimally invasive, non-surgical options are available to treat PAD that includes arteriogram, angioplasty and stenting, and atherectomy. Amputation will be necessary, if local wound care and restoration of arterial perfusion fails to heal lower extremity wounds.

Physician documentation should specify whether atherosclerosis is present in a native vessel or a bypass graft, the specific type of bypass graft, manifestations (claudication, rest pain, ulceration, gangrene), leg (left, right, bilateral) or other extremity (arm) involved as well as precise site of ulceration if present. PAD may also be documented as peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

ICD-10-CM PVD Diagnostic Codes include:

  • I25.10 Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery without angina pectoris
  • I70.0 Atherosclerosis of aorta
  • I70.1 Atherosclerosis of renal artery
  • I70.2 Atherosclerosis of native arteries of the extremities
  • I73.8 Other specified peripheral vascular diseases
  • I73.89 Other specified peripheral vascular diseases
  • I73.9 Peripheral vascular disease, unspecified
  • E10.51 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with diabetic peripheral angiopathy without gangrene
  • E10.52 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with diabetic peripheral angiopathy with gangrene

For documentation, hospitals must also use ICD-10-PCS procedure codes for inpatient cases. For timely and efficient medical billing support, choose a medical billing company that provides the service of experienced coders and billing specialists, who are knowledgeable in all the medical codes and are up-to-date with changing coding standards.