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Uveitis refers to inflammation inside the eye. It occurs when the middle layer of the eyeball called uvea gets inflamed. This layer has many blood vessels that nourish the eye. The condition can damage vital eye tissue, leading to permanent vision loss. Uveitis that affects the front of the eye heals faster than that which affects the back of the eye. Eye specialists can choose a medical billing and coding company experienced in providing coding services for all ophthalmology conditions to streamline their medical billing process.

Key symptoms of this condition include eye redness with or without pain, light sensitivity, blurred vision, floating spots in the field of vision and decreased vision. Uveitis can be caused by viral, fungal and bacterial infections. Certain autoimmune conditions or other disorders that may be associated with uveitis include rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, psoriasis, arthritis, herpes zoster, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or sarcoidosis. Exposure to toxic chemicals such as pesticides or acids can also cause uveitis.

ICD-10 codes to report such causes are –

  • A18.54 Tuberculous iridocyclitis (Anterior uveitis due to tuberculosis)
  • B02.32 Zoster iridocyclitis (due to herpes simplex virus)
  • B00.51 Herpesviral iridocyclitis (due to varicella zoster virus)

Based on which part of the uvea has affected the anatomical involvement, uveitis can be classified as – anterior (affecting the front of the eye), intermediate (affecting the middle of the eye), posterior (affecting the back of the eye) or diffuse uveitis or pan-uveitis (inflammation of all areas of the uvea).

Early detection and treatment are important to reduce the risk of vision loss, which can be permanent. Left untreated, symptoms may worsen and the condition can lead to many complications including permanent loss of vision, glaucoma, cataract and optic nerve damage. Along with a complete eye exam and evaluation of a complete health history, ophthalmologists may recommend blood tests or angiography to evaluate the retinal blood flow, and imaging tests such as X-rays.

Treatment options may include steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation or irritation or to widen the pupil, steroid injections around the eye, and steroids taken by mouth. Surgery procedures like vitrectomy may be recommended, if other options fail to work.

ICD-10 codes for all types of uveitis

Anterior Uveitis

  • H20.011 Primary iridocyclitis, right eye
    • H20.012 …… left eye
    • H20.013 …… bilateral
    • H20.019 …… unspecified eye
  • H20.021 Recurrent acute iridocyclitis, right eye
    • H20.022 …… left eye
    • H20.023 …… bilateral
    • H20.029 …… unspecified eye
  • H20.11 Chronic iridocyclitis, right eye
    • H20.12 …… left eye
    • H20.13 …… bilateral

Intermediate and Posterior Uveitis

  • H43.89 Other disorders of vitreous body
  • H30.021 Focal chorioretinal inflammation of posterior pole, right eye
    • H30.022 …… left eye
    • H30.023 …… bilateral
    • H30.029 …… unspecified eye
  • H30.031 Focal chorioretinal inflammation, peripheral, right eye
    • H30.032 …… left eye
    • H30.033 …… bilateral
    • H30.039 …… unspecified
  • H30.91 Unspecified chorioretinal inflammation, right eye
    • H30.92 …… left eye
    • H30.93 …… bilateral

Panuveitis and Endophthalmitis

  • H44.001 Unspecified purulent endophthalmitis, right eye
    • H44.002 …… left eye
    • H44.003 …… bilateral
    • H44.009 …… unspecified eye
  • H44.011 Panophthalmitis (acute), right eye
    • H44.012 …… left eye
    • H44.013 …… bilateral
    • H44.019 …… unspecified eye
  • H44.111 Panuveitis, right eye
    • H44.112 …… left eye
    • H44.113 …… bilateral
    • H44.119 …… unspecified eye

Secondary, noninfectious anterior uveitis

    • H20.041 Secondary noninfectious iridocyclitis, right eye
    • H20.042 …… left eye
    • H20.043 …… bilateral
    • H20.049 …… unspecified eye

Secondary, Infectious Anterior Uveitis

    • H20.031 Secondary infectious iridocyclitis, right eye
    • H20.032 …… left eye
    • H20.033 …… bilateral
    • H20.039 …… unspecified eye

Coding tips for uveitis

Retina Today has discussed certain ICD-10 coding tips for reporting uveitis, which include

    • Code the diagnosis you know. Do not code probable, suspected, or questionable diagnoses; do not rule out conditions until they are confirmed.
    • Choose the code that accurately reflects the initial confirmed diagnosis.
    • Only use unspecified when a more definitive code is not available.
    • If anterior uveitis is secondary to a systemic disease, first determine if the diagnosis is infectious or noninfectious.
    • The initial ICD-10 codes are replaced with the secondary anterior uveitis code, as appropriate, and the systemic disease is coded using a secondary ICD-10 code.
    • In cases where the underlying cause is not identified, the diagnosis will remain anterior uveitis.
    • As there are no specific ICD-10 codes for panuveitis secondary to a systemic disease, use the secondary anterior uveitis code in addition to the panuveitis code.

A billing company experienced in ophthalmology medical coding and billing can assist practices with even complex coding tasks and thus ensure timely claim submission and better reimbursement.

Rajeev Rajagopal

Rajeev Rajagopal, the President of OSI, has a wealth of experience as a healthcare business consultant in the United States. He has a keen understanding of current medical billing and coding standards.

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