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Which diagnosis is principal?
Most coders and CDI specialists are familiar with the Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set (UHDDS) definition of principal diagnosis: the condition established after study to be chiefly responsible for occasioning the admission of the patient to the hospital for care.
That seems like a very straightforward definition on the surface, but in practice it’s not always so clear cut. Remember that the reason the patient came in is not always the same as the reason the physician admitted the patient.
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