Each month, IBC will feature an example of how ICD-9 codes will translate to
ICD-10 codes. We will present coding examples from different specialties and
popular disease categories to demonstrate the granularity that the new ICD-10
code set will provide.
CODING CONVENTION/GUIDELINE: Excludes1 and Excludes2, and
Borderline Diagnosis Codes
Similar to ICD-9, there are coding conventions, general guidelines, and
chapter-specific guidelines in ICD-10. These conventions and guidelines are
rules and instructions that must be followed to classify and assign the most
appropriate code. As with ICD-9, adherence to these guidelines is required
under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Many of
the conventions and guidelines in ICD-9 are the same in ICD-10. This article
will focus on a new Coding Convention: Excludes1 and Excludes2, and a new
General Coding Guideline: Borderline Diagnosis Codes.
Excludes1 and Excludes2
As in ICD-9, a variety of notes appear in both the Alphabetic Index and Tabular
List of ICD-10. These types of notes consist of inclusion notes, excludes
notes, code first notes, use additional code notes, and cross reference notes.
ICD-10 incorporates two types of excludes notes: Excludes1 and Excludes2. Each
type of note has a different definition for use but are similar in that they
indicate codes excluded from each other are independent of each other.
A type 1 Excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" It
corresponds with what the current ICD-9 Excludes note indicates. An Excludes1
note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as
the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 note is used when two
conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired
form of the same condition.
K51.4 - Inflammatory polyps of colon
adenomatous polyp of colon (D12.6)
polyposis of colon (D12.6)
polyps of colon NOS (K63.5)
A type 2 Excludes note represents "Not included here." An Excludes2 note
indicates that the condition excluded is not part of the condition represented
by the code, but a patient may have both conditions at the same time. When an
Excludes2 note appears under a code, it is acceptable to use both the code and
the excluded code together, when appropriate.
J37.1 - Chronic laryngotracheitis
acute laryngotracheitis (J04.2)
acute tracheitis (J04.1)
If the provider documents a "borderline" diagnosis at the time of discharge,
the diagnosis is coded as confirmed, unless the classification provides a
specific entry. If a borderline condition has a specific index entry in ICD-10,
it should be coded as such. Since borderline conditions are not uncertain
diagnoses, no distinction is made between the care setting (inpatient versus
Examples of Specific Borderline Entries:
F60.3 Borderline personality disorder
R41.83 Borderline intellectual functioning
H40.021 Open angle with borderline findings, high-risk, right eye
*Whenever the documentation is unclear regarding a
borderline condition, coders are encouraged to query for clarification.
For additional information related to the IBC transition to ICD-10, please
visit the ICD-10 section
of our website.
On this site you will also find other examples of how ICD-9 codes will
translate to ICD-10 codes in the ICD-10 Spotlight: Know the codes