Cracking the Code

Incorrectly Assigned Diagnosis-related Group (DRG)

For inpatient encounters, there are many factors that will affect the correct assignment of a Diagnosis-related group (DRG); incorrectly assigned primary diagnosis and procedure codes are at the top of this list. DRG reimbursement is based on the care that patient needed during their hospital stay. When diagnosis and procedure codes are reported incorrectly, this may cause a hospital to bill an incorrect DRG (which may result in an over or underpayment from the third-party insurance company for those inpatient services). Coding a procedure with the wrong approach or root operation will cause a shift in the DRG assignment. It is extremely important for inpatient coders to ensure they are reporting accurate diagnoses and procedure codes, so hospitals will receive proper reimbursement for their services.

Q: A 33-year-old female at 37w6d presents for induction of labor and is admitted to Labor and Delivery. The patient progressed through the first and second stages of labor and delivered a viable infant via augmented vaginal delivery. L & D Delivery note states the placenta was manually extracted with a curette. Curette passed three times with placental fragments on initial two passes. Patient also had inner labial repair. Patient had uneventful postpartum course stay and was discharged home. Coder assigns ICD-10-PCS code 10D17Z9, Manual extraction of products of conception, retained, via natural or artificial opening, which results in DRG 807.
A: The correct ICD-10-PCS code for this scenario is 10D17ZZ, Extraction of products of conception, retained, via natural or artificial opening. This shifts the DRG from 807 to 798, which resulted in a $1,500 underpayment.
Reference: Dorland’s dictionary definition of “manual”
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