Cracking the Code

Coding Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is a term that describes disorders involving long-standing (chronic) inflammation of tissues in your digestive tract. Types of inflammatory bowel disease include Ulcerative colitis. This condition involves inflammation and sores (ulcers) along the lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. Crohn’s disease is another form of inflammatory bowel disease.  This disease is characterized by inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which often can involve the deeper layers of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the small intestine. Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease usually have characteristics is diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss. For some people, inflammatory bowel disease is only a mild illness. For others, it’s a debilitating condition that can lead to life-threatening complications.

Q: What ICD-10-CM code(s) is reported for ulcerative colitis with rectal bleeding?
A: K51.911, If we look up in the Alphabetic Index for Colitis/ulcerative (chronic)/with complication/rectal bleeding it brings you to K51.911. Verify the code in the Tabular List. This is a combination code that covers both ulcerative colitis and rectal bleeding. It is important to note that an additional code for rectal bleeding would not be reported.
Reference: FY 2023 ICD-10-CM book, Mayo Clinic
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