Today’s Tip: ICD-10 Anemia in CKD
When anemia NOS is present as a current condition, and the patient has underlying chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), it is a fast track to the usage of D63.1, Anemia in chronic kidney disease (manifestation). This is assigned unless the anemia is specified as a different form and/or attributed to another condition. Much like the diabetes category, ICD-10-CM “In/With” convention assumes “due to.”
ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting FY 2021 Section I. A. 15.
The word “with” or “in” should be interpreted to mean “associated with” or “due to” when it appears in a code title, the Alphabetic Index (either under a main term or subterm), or an instructional note in the Tabular List. The classification presumes a causal relationship between the two conditions linked by these terms in the Alphabetic Index or Tabular List. These conditions should be coded as related even in the absence of provider documentation explicitly linking them, unless the documentation clearly states the conditions are unrelated or when another guideline exists that specifically requires a documented linkage between two conditions (e.g., sepsis guideline for “acute organ dysfunction that is not clearly associated with the sepsis”).
For conditions not specifically linked by these relational terms in the classification or when a guideline requires that a linkage between two conditions be explicitly documented, provider documentation must link the conditions in order to code them as related. The word “with” in the Alphabetic Index is sequenced immediately following the main term or subterm, not in alphabetical order.
Anemia refers to the reduction of the total number of circulating red blood cells. It is diagnosed when there is the detection of decreased hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, or red blood cell count. Anemia in chronic kidney disease specifically falls under the category of decreased red blood cell production.
In CKD or ESRD, kidney function is compromised to the point that blood cannot be filtered of wastes and fluid. The kidneys also produce less erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that signals the bone marrow to produce additional red blood cells. Furthermore, in CKD patients the red blood cells are not able to survive as long in the bloodstream and suffer a premature death. Due to associated nutrient deficiencies in underlying CKD, red blood cells are not reproduced as frequently or with the same cellular integrity as in a healthy patient.
Education Disclaimer: This coding tip is intended to serve the general community and may not account for all differences in coding routines, duties, or individual client policies. The information and opinions presented here are based on the experience, training, and interpretation of the author. Although the information has been researched and reviewed for accuracy, the instructor does not accept any responsibility or liability with regard to errors, omissions, misuse, or misinterpretation. This information is intended as a guide; it should not be considered a legal or consulting opinion or advice.