A U.S. based medical billing outsourcing company, Outsource Strategies International (OSI) provides efficient medical billing and coding services for individual physicians, medical practices, clinics, and hospitals. OSI provide accurate diagnosis and documentation which are crucial for error-free billing and optimal reimbursement.
In today’s podcast, Meghann Drella, one of our Senior Solutions Managers, discusses about how to report Five Common Foot Conditions and Their ICD-10 Codes.
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 report Five Common Foot Conditions and Their ICD-10 Codes
Your feet form the foundation of your body which requires proper balancing. While facilitating easy movement, the feet also support the entire weight of your body. As a result, they are prone to significant wear and tear. People may find it difficult to walk, run or stand if their ankles are worn out after athletic practice sessions or outdoor games. Older adults are more prone to certain foot conditions but risks can be significantly reduced with lifestyle changes. As people get older, the wear and tear increases and they could develop certain conditions, particularly between the ages of 40 and 60. Pain in the foot area can be caused due to poor foot biomechanics, muscle imbalances, poor training techniques or incorrect footwear. Foot conditions/injuries have to be reported on medical claims using the correct medical codes.
Here discussed are some common foot conditions that older adults are at risk for –
Plantar Fasciitis – One of the most common orthopedic complaints. Plantar fasciitis occurs due to inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. The condition causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. The pain can also be triggered by long periods of standing, when you get up after sitting or after exercise (and not during it). Ignoring this condition may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities. Treatment for this condition includes resting, pain medications, icing the painful area and stretching.
Athlete’s Foot – A fungal infection that begins between the toes, athlete’s foot commonly occurs in people whose feet sweat a lot, especially when confined within tight-fitting shoes. Also known as tinea pedis and ringworm of the foot, the condition most commonly develops between the toes. It usually causes burning, stinging, redness, and itching. It also causes flaking of the skin in some people. The condition can usually be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Bunions are swollen, sore, bony bump that forms on the joint between the big toe and foot. It occurs when some of the bones in the front part of your foot move out of place. Wearing tight, narrow or high-heeled shoes can cause bunions. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your bunion and how much pain it causes and normally includes medications, using shoe inserts or bunion pads, and icing the area. Choosing shoes carefully can help prevent bunions. Shoes that are used must have a wide toe box and there should be space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Related diagnosis codes include M21.61 to M21.622
Hammer Toe: Hammer toe is a deformity that causes your toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward. It can affect any toe on your foot. It most often affects the second or third toe. Common causes of this condition include – a traumatic toe injury, arthritis, an unusually high foot arch, tightened ligaments or tendons in the foot and pressure from a bunion. In some cases, it may be present at birth. Symptoms may be mild or severe and may include – a toe that bends downward, difficulty walking, corns or calluses, inability to flex your foot or wiggle your toes, and claw-like toes. ICD-10 codes starts at M20.4 and end at M20.
Ingrown Toenails occur when the edges or corners of your nails grow into the skin next to the nail. This condition occurs in both men and women and generally, the big toe is most likely to get an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails are more common in people with sweaty feet, such as teenagers. Older people may also be at higher risk because toenails thicken with age. Symptoms include – red, swollen skin; pain, bleeding, oozing pus and overgrowth of skin around the toe. ICD-10 codes start at L60 and end at L60.9
Preventing the occurrence of common foot conditions requires having a clear understanding about the potential risk factors that may possibly cause these conditions. Diagnosis of various foot conditions or injuries may involve a detailed physical examination to assess the specific type of injury and check how the injury has affected the patient’s range of motion. Diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, CT Scans, MRIs may be recommended to check for the severity of the condition. Podiatrists and other specialists may often combine medications and other non-surgical options like physical therapy, chiropractic treatment and ice and heat applications to treat these foot conditions in the long run. In severe cases, if the non-surgical modalities do not provide adequate pain relief, surgery will be recommended as a last resort to treat injuries of the foot. Treating patients with different foot conditions and taking care of the documentation requirements simultaneously can be a challenging task for physicians.
I hope this helps, but always remember that documentation as well as a thorough knowledge of pay 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.