How Do You Code Chronic Lung Disease?

by | Published on Nov 18, 2021 | Resources | 0 comments

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Chronic lung diseases are disorders affecting the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. These usually develop slowly and may get worse over time. Some of the common chronic lung conditions that can adversely affect the quality of one’s life include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD (Emphysema and chronic bronchitis), asthma, cystic fibrosis, and occupational lung diseases. Pulmonary medical coding involves assigning accurate diagnosis and procedure codes for the treated conditions on physicians’ medical claims. Risk factors for these diseases include tobacco smoke, air pollution, occupational chemicals and dust, and frequent lower respiratory infections mainly during childhood.

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Chronic lung disease (CLD) is usually diagnosed using a chest X-ray that shows scar tissues in the lungs, blood tests, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Echocardiogram, Computerized tomography (CT), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Open-lung biopsy, Lung (pulmonary) function test, or even Sleep study (polysomnogram).

ICD-10 Codes for Chronic Lung Diseases

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

This form of chronic lung disease affects newborns. Referred to as chronic lung disease of premature babies, this condition can be mild, moderate or severe. It occurs as a result of damage to the lungs or with long-term use of oxygen. Wilson Mikity syndrome (WMS) is another chronic lung disease affecting premature infants. This condition is sometimes considered as part of the spectrum of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

  • P27 Chronic respiratory disease originating in the perinatal period
  • P27.0 Wilson-Mikity syndrome
  • P27.1 Bronchopulmonary dysplasia originating in the perinatal period
  • P27.8 Other chronic respiratory diseases originating in the perinatal period
  • P27.9 Unspecified chronic respiratory disease originating in the perinatal period

Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disorder that affects the lungs, digestive system, pancreas, and other organs. This disease may limit the ability to breathe over time. Symptoms may include persistent coughing, frequent lung infections, wheezing or shortness of breath, and chronic sinus infections.

  • E84 Cystic fibrosis
  • E84.0 Cystic fibrosis with pulmonary manifestations
  • E84.1 Cystic fibrosis with intestinal manifestations
  • E84.11 Meconium ileus in cystic fibrosis
  • E84.19 Cystic fibrosis with other intestinal manifestations
  • E84.8 Cystic fibrosis with other manifestations
  • E84.9 Cystic fibrosis, unspecified


One of the most common types of CLD, asthma can be serious or even life-threatening. According to the American Lung Association, more than 26 million Americans have asthma, including 6.1 million children. Common symptoms of asthma include a tight feeling in the chest, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.

  • J45 Asthma
    • J45.2 Mild intermittent asthma
    • J45.3 Mild persistent asthma
    • J45.4 Moderate persistent asthma
    • J45.5 Severe persistent asthma
    • J45.9 Other and unspecified asthma

COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis)

COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs air flow from the lungs. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two common conditions that lead to COPD. Common symptoms include breathing difficulties, chest tightness, respiratory infections, wheezing, cough, and mucus production.

  • J40 Bronchitis, not specified as acute or chronic
  • J41 Simple and mucopurulent chronic bronchitis
    • J41.0 Simple chronic bronchitis
    • J41.1 Mucopurulent chronic bronchitis
    • J41.8 Mixed simple and mucopurulent chronic bronchitis
  • J42 Unspecified chronic bronchitis
  • J43 Emphysema
    • J43.0 Unilateral pulmonary emphysema [MacLeod’s syndrome]
    • J43.1 Panlobular emphysema
    • J43.2 Centrilobular emphysema
    • J43.8 Other emphysema
    • J43.9 Emphysema, unspecified
  • J44 Other chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • J44.0 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with (acute) lower respiratory infection
    • J44.1 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with (acute) exacerbation
    • J44.9 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unspecified

Pulmonary Hypertension

This chronic condition occurs when the blood pressure level is high. The condition can be associated with any lung or heart diseases. Treatments often help reduce the signs and symptoms and slow the progress of the disease.

  • I27.0 Primary pulmonary hypertension
  • I27.1 Kyphoscoliotic heart disease
  • I27.2 Other secondary pulmonary hypertension
    • I27.20 Pulmonary hypertension, unspecified
    • I27.21 Secondary pulmonary arterial hypertension
    • I27.22 Pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease
    • I27.23 Pulmonary hypertension due to lung diseases and hypoxia
    • I27.24 Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
    • I27.29 Other secondary pulmonary hypertension

Occupational Lung Diseases

Occupational lung diseases are often the result of repeated, long-term exposure to any hazardous agents that can damage the lungs. Symptoms of such conditions may include abnormal breathing pattern, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Some types of occupational respiratory disease include Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, also known as Black Lung Disease, asbestosis, silicosis, Farmers’ lung (allergic alveolitis), and more. Occupational respiratory disease can also lead to lung cancer and other diseases. November is observed as lung cancer awareness month. This month helps raise awareness about the impact of the disease and challenges associated with this cancer.

Some of the ICD-10 codes related to occupational lung diseases include

  • J60 Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis
  • J61 Pneumoconiosis due to asbestos and other mineral fibers
  • J62 Pneumoconiosis due to dust containing silica
    • J62.0 Pneumoconiosis due to talc dust
    • J62.8 Pneumoconiosis due to other dust containing silica
  • J63 Pneumoconiosis due to other inorganic dusts
  • J67 Hypersensitivity pneumonitis due to organic dust
    • J67.0 Farmer’s lung
  • Z77.090 Contact with and (suspected) exposure to asbestos

Pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, primary care providers or any other specialists involved in treating lung conditions can associate with an experienced medical coding company that can help report their services accurately on the medical claims and thus get proper reimbursement from insurers.

Natalie Tornese

Holding a CPC certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), Natalie is a seasoned professional actively managing medical billing, medical coding, verification, and authorization services at OSI.

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