Based in the United States, Outsource Strategies International (OSI) is a reputable and professional medical billing outsourcing company that provides quality medical billing and coding services for various specialties.

In today’s podcast, Meghann Drella, one of our Senior Solutions Managers, discusses in detail about Dyspnea – a common breath issue and its associated ICD-10 codes.

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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 Dyspnea and the ICD-10 codes associated with it.

0:14 – Dyspnea - Introduction

Dyspnea or shortness of breath can be the cause of many health issues. Dyspnea refers to shortness of breath. It is a common symptom for many health issues reported in general practice and in hospital emergency rooms and can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. According to NCBI research, 7% of patients in hospital emergency rooms and 60% of those in ambulatory pulmonological practices complain of dyspnea.

0:42 - Types of Dyspnea

While acute dyspnea could be due to conditions such as asthma, anxiety, pneumonia, any block in breathing passageways, allergy, anemia, heart failure, hypotension or low blood pressure, pulmonary embolism, collapsed lung, hiatal hernia or terminal illness, chronic dyspnea can be caused by asthma, COPD, heart problems, obesity, fibrosis or certain lung conditions such as croup, traumatic lung injury, lung cancer, tuberculosis, pulmonary edema, pulmonary hypertension or sarcoidosis. In 2014, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) has proved that individuals with dyspnea or shortness of breath have an increased long-term mortality risk compared with individuals without dyspnea.

1:32 - Causes of Dyspnea

Heart problems that can cause shortness of breath include cardiomyopathy, heart rhythm issues or pericarditis (inflammation of tissue that surrounds the heart). Obstructive lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis may also cause breath issues. If the symptom continues for some time, it can also be an indication of some life-threatening conditions. In a healthy person, breath issues can be the result of very strenuous exercise, extreme temperatures or higher altitude.

2:00 – Signs and Symptoms of Dyspnea

The major symptom is labored breathing that may last for a few minutes after strenuous activity. Other signs include tightness in the chest, shortness of breath after exertion, rapid/shallow breathing, heart palpitations, wheezing, and coughing. Emergency medical treatment is necessary, if the symptoms include sudden onset of severe dyspnea, chest pain, nausea or loss of ability to function.

2:25 - Diagnosis and Treatment

Rapid evaluation and diagnosis are crucial to reduce the burden of disease. Diagnosis may include a complete physical examination using X-rays and computed tomography (CT) images to evaluate the health of the person’s heart, lungs, and related systems, electrocardiogram (ECG) to find any signs of a heart attack, spirometry tests to measure airflow and the patient’s lung capacity or other tests to check the oxygen level in a patient’s blood. Treatment for dyspnea depends on the cause of the problem.

I hope this helps but always remember that documentation as well as a thorough knowledge of the 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.