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New Study Finds Genetic Link to Depression

by | Sep 2, 2016 | Blog, Healthcare News

Study Finds Genetic Link to DepressionWidespread but unrecognized in many cases, major depressive disorder is a common mental disorder that can negatively impact almost all areas of a person’s life. Symptoms include fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, social isolation, loss of interest in activities, insomnia or sleeping too much, appetite changes, sudden weight loss or weight gain, and suicidal inclinations.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimated that about 16 million adults (6.7% adults) aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2014. NIMH reports that about two of 100 children and eight out of 100 teenagers are likely to have serious depression and that the lifetime risk is about 17 percent.

Is depression hereditary? Researchers and writers like Siddhartha Mukherjee have explored this question in depth. Now a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that people with parents and grandparents who had depression are indeed at a higher risk of major depressive disorder.

Researchers from Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute interviewed 251 grandchildren with an average age of 18 an average of two times. Biological parents were interviewed an average of nearly five times and grandparents, up to 30 years.

  • Comparison of the first two generations revealed that grandchildren with depressed parents had twice the risk of major depressive disorder, increased risk for disruptive disorder, substance dependence, suicidal ideation or gesture and poorer functioning compared with people whose parents did not have depression.
  • Comparison of three generations showed that grandchildren with both a depressed parent and grandparent had a three times higher risk of depression.

Though based on a small sample, the authors say that their study can help people who can benefit from early intervention.

For the psychiatrist, the key to appropriate reimbursement is correct medical coding and billing practices. ICD code F32 is the billable/specific ICD-10-CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis of major depressive disorder for reimbursement purposes. Examples of ICD-10 codes under this category include:

  • F32.0 Major depressive disorder, single episode, mild
  • F32.1 Major depressive disorder, single episode, moderate
  • F32.2 Major depressive disorder, single episode, severe without psychotic features
  • F32.3 Major depressive disorder, single episode, severe with psychotic features
  • F32.4 Major depressive disorder, single episode, in partial remission
  • F32.5 Major depressive disorder, single episode, in full remission

ICD10 code F33 is used to indicate major depressive disorder, recurrent, and includes codes to indicate whether the recurrent depressive disorder is mild, moderate, severe without psychotic features, or in remission.

The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code range for Psychiatry Services and Procedures 90785-90899 which includes: 90785-90785 – Interactive Complexity Psychiatry Services and Procedures; 90791-90792 – Psychiatric Diagnostic Procedures; 90832-90838 – Psychotherapy Services and Procedures; 90839-90853 – Other Psychotherapy Procedures, and 90863-90899 – Other Psychiatric Services or Procedures. Using E/M codes allows psychiatrists to choose higher-level codes that more accurately reflect their work and receive higher payment for more complicated patients. Coding to the highest degree of specificity is much easier with help from an experienced medical coding and billing company.

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