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ICD-10-CM coding considerations for vaping-induced illnesses

As of October 1, 2019, 1080 cases of respiratory illnesses and 18 deaths brought on by vaping have been reported in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite continued research into these cases by the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the specific cause of these illnesses remains unknown.

The CDC has asked clinicians to immediately report possible cases of e-cigarette-associated lung disease to their local or state health department for further analysis. Coders and clinical documentation integrity (CDI) professionals should familiarize themselves with clinical signs and symptoms of vaping-induced illnesses so they can effectively review these encounters, facilitate proper ICD-10-CM reporting, and query providers to obtain documentation that details the circumstances, suspected causes, and consequences of vaping-induced illnesses.

This broad overview outlines what public health researchers currently know about the e-cigarette epidemic and how vaping-induced illnesses should be documented and reported using ICD-10-CM codes. Further information will be published by the CDC as more research is conducted.


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