Outsource Strategies International (OSI), a professional medical billing service company in U.S., has extensive experience in providing medical billing and coding services for various specialties.

In today’s podcast, Meghann Drella, one of our Senior Solutions Managers, discusses medical coding for allergies that occur in autumn.

In This Episode:

00:013 What causes allergies in autumn?

During autumn, allergies are caused by mold spores, ragweed allergens and pollen present in the air.

01:07 Causes and symptoms of allergies

Common fall allergy symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, temporary loss of smell, headache, fatigue, sore throat, coughing, snoring, watery and itchy eyes, ear congestion, and itchy sinuses or throat.

02:00 Treatment options for allergies

A skin test or a blood test can detect the cause of allergies. Steroid nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants and immunotherapy are used to treat allergies.

02:23 Coding for allergies

Using the correct ICD-10 codes and CPT codes for reporting diagnosis and treatment of fall allergies is critical for accurate claim submission and proper reimbursement.

02:38 Tips for preventing and managing seasonal allergies

Even though there’s no cure for seasonal allergies, they can be prevented and managed easily by following certain tips.

Hello and Welcome to our podcast series. My name is Meghann Drella and I am a Senior Solutions Manager here at Outsource Strategies International. Today, I will be discussing how to medical coding for seasonal allergies and asthma this autumn.

Allergy is one of the most common autumn illnesses. Allergy diagnosis and treatments can be reported in medical claims using the relevant medical codes. The change of seasons from summer to fall also brings changes to your health. Allergies are one of the most common illnesses that do the rounds during autumn or the fall season. During the fall, mold spores and ragweed allergens present in the air can cause seasonal allergies. Rain storms in autumn may encourage some plants to release more pollen, worsening the allergy conditions. Allergists do educate patients on the risks of such seasonal allergies. However, allergies still occur and have to be treated.

Web MD reports that about 75% of people who are allergic to spring plants also have reactions to ragweed. For some people who are allergic to ragweed, certain fruits and vegetables including bananas, melon and zucchini can also cause symptoms.

Fall allergies are mainly caused by ragweed pollen, pesky leaves, warm temperatures and school allergens. Allergic rhinitis or hay fever symptoms show up, if anyone is allergic to ragweed pollen and inhale it from the air. Ragweed pollen allergy can cause asthma symptoms for people with allergic asthma. Going back to school can also bring allergies in kids because mold and dust mites are common in schools.

Common fall allergy symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, temporary loss of smell, headache, fatigue, sore throat, coughing, snoring, watery and itchy eyes, ear congestion, itchy sinuses or throat and postnasal drainage. Many symptoms can even negatively affect an individual’s quality of life by causing tiredness and sleep disturbances, and impairing concentration depending on the frequency and severity of symptoms.

Doctors may recommend a skin test or a blood test to figure out the exact cause of such allergies. Medications such as steroid nasal sprays are also prescribed to reduce nasal irritation, antihistamines to stop sneezing and itching, and decongestants to relieve stuffiness. Immunotherapy may be recommended for long-term allergy management and could take several years to complete.

  • ICD-10 codes to report fall allergies start at J31.0.
  • CPT Codes are 95024, 95115, 95180.

Though there’s no cure for seasonal allergies, they can be prevented and managed easily by:

  • Checking the daily pollen count
  • Checking your city’s air quality report before spending time outside
  • Keeping your car and home windows closed
  • Taking a shower after spending time outside
  • Staying indoors when pollen and mold counts are high
  • Turning on the AC even when it's not hot to keep out mold spores and pollen from entering your home or car
  • Cleaning your heating vents and changing the filter before turning them on
  • Wearing a mask when you rake leaves so you don't breathe in mold spores
  • Using a dehumidifier to keep air between 35 and 50 percent humidity

I hope this helps, but always remember that documentation as well as a thorough knowledge of payer regulations and guidelines is critical to ensure accurate reimbursement for the procedures performed.

Thank you for joining me and stay tuned for my next podcast.