You have requested access to member only content.

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.

This is an excerpt from a members-only article. Please log in or become a member to read the complete article.

Not a member? Let's fix that!

ACDIS is the nation's only association dedicated to the clinical documentation improvement profession. Whether you're a veteran CDI specialist or new to the position, or a physician advisor or HIM/coding professional, you'll want to take advantage of all the benefits of ACDIS membership including a career center, CDI Journal, CDI Forum, sample forms and tools, and much more.

Register to access the free content available through the ACDIS site or become a member today. Click here for more information.

For questions and support, please call ACDIS customer service: 800-650-6787.