May is observed as Psoriatic Arthritis Action Month in the United States. Sponsored by the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), the event aims to educate people on how to effectively manage and live with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and provide them the essential resources required to take steps towards better health outcomes. Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic form of arthritis that affects some people with the skin condition – “psoriasis” (marked by red patches of skin topped with silvery scales). According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA), an inflammatory form of arthritis. Most people develop psoriasis first and are later diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, but the joint problems can sometimes begin before skin lesions appear. This chronic inflammatory condition can affect the joints on just one side or on both sides of your body. As the signs and symptoms of PsA often resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis, it is important for rheumatologists to make an accurate diagnosis and advise patients about the best treatment modalities available. With appropriate and timely treatment, the serious complications caused by PsA can be reversed. For accurate clinical documentation of this condition, physicians can benefit from the services of medical billing outsourcing companies.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect the joints on just one side or on both sides of your body. Typical signs and symptoms (that often resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis) include – swelling of the fingers and toes, foot pain, lower back pain, swollen joints, nail pitting, reduced range of motion, joint pain and morning stiffness and fatigue. The type and severity of symptoms can vary considerably from person to person. In certain cases, some people have severe problems affecting many joints, whereas others may only notice mild symptoms in one or more joints. There may be times when patient symptoms improve (known as remission) and periods when they get worse (known as flare-ups or relapses). Relapses can be very difficult to predict, but often can be effectively managed with medications.
No single test can confirm a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. However, some types of tests can particularly rule out other prominent causes of joint pain (such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout). As part of the diagnosis, physicians may closely examine the joints for signs of swelling or tenderness and check the fingernails for pitting, flaking and other abnormalities. Several diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, MRI and other laboratory tests such as rheumatoid factor (RF) test and joint fluid test will be conducted to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment options include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) (such as Methotrexate) as well as other new medications on the market (such as Otezla, ustekinumab (Stelara) and secukinumab (Cosentyx) that control inflammation in the affected joints and reduce joint pain and disability.
Rheumatology medical coding involves using the specific ICD-10 diagnosis codes for reporting PsA on your medical claims. ICD-10-CM codes used to indicate a diagnosis of PsA come in the range L40.50 – L40.59.
- L40 – Psoriasis
- L40.0 – Psoriasis vulgaris
- L40.1 – Generalized pustular psoriasis
- L40.2 – Acrodermatitis continua
- L40.3 – Pustulosis palmaris et plantaris
- L40.4 – Guttate psoriasis
- L40.5 – Arthropathic psoriasis
- L40.50 – Arthropathic psoriasis, unspecified
- L40.51 – Distal interphalangeal psoriatic arthropathy
- L40.52 – Psoriatic arthritis mutilans
- L40.53 – Psoriatic spondylitis
- L40.54 – Psoriatic juvenile arthropathy
- L40.59 – Other psoriatic arthropathy
- L40.8 – Other psoriasis
- L40.9 – Psoriasis, unspecified
Medical coding for psoriasis can be challenging. Reports suggest that about 2.4 million Americans suffer from Psoriatic arthritis (PsA). For accurate and timely medical billing and claims submission, rheumatology practices can outsource their medical coding tasks to a professional medical billing company that provides the services of AAPC-certified coding specialists.
As part of the Psoriatic Arthritis Action Month campaign, the NPF promotes various activities via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which help them to connect with the psoriatic disease community and find information on managing psoriatic arthritis in a better manner. People are encouraged to share NPF social posts and updates with friends using the hashtag #PsAActionMonth.
Join “Psoriatic Arthritis Action Month” campaign in May. Spread awareness about this chronic inflammatory arthritis and educate people about the importance of early detection and screening.