Question: A patient presented in our office and said that his defibrillator was firing. What diagnosis code is appropriate for this?
Answer: You’ll need a little more information on the cause of the firing to choose the proper code. Here are some specifics you need to ask about or look for in the note.
If the firing resulted from an automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator (AICD) malfunction, you should report 996.04 (Mechanical complication of cardiac device,implant, and graft; due to automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator).
Alternatively, the patient may have had a dysrhythmia that caused the defibrillator to fire as it’s supposed to. In that case, you would use the heart condition as the primary diagnosis code, such as a code from the 427 series (Cardiac dysrhythmias). Then you would report V45.02 (Cardiac device in situ; automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator) to indicate that the patient has an AICD.
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