Cracking the Code

When is COVID-19 NOT the primary diagnosis?

When COVID-19 meets the definition for principal diagnosis, it should be sequenced first followed by all other appropriate secondary diagnoses. There is an exception for sepsis, obstetric, and newborn patients. However, if sepsis does NOT meet the guidelines for principal diagnosis, it should be sequenced as a secondary diagnosis. Please see the example below:

Q: A 52 year old woman was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia due to COVID-19 virus. During the patient’s stay, she developed viral sepsis. What’s the correct primary diagnosis?
A: tJ07.1, COVID-19
Reference: ICD-IO-CM Official Coding Guidelines section 1_CLd_ Chapter-specific Guidelines: Sepsis, Severe Sepsis, and Septic Shock
Scroll to Top
Call Now Button