April 13, 2012 | | Comments 2
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Happy Friday the 13th!

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Do you suffer from triskaidekaphobia, paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia? In other words are you afraid of the number 13 or Friday the 13th? More importantly, can you code for those fears?

Surprisingly, ICD-10-CM does not have a specific code for the fear of the number 13 (triskaidekaphobia) or fear of Friday the 13th (paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia). If your physician documents any of these phobias, you would report ICD-10-CM code F40.298 (other specified phobia). So even though the code doesn’t specify the phobia, the documentation does.

If the physician documents a generic phobia, but doesn’t say what the patient is specifically afraid of, you would have to default to the unspecified code F40.9 (phobic anxiety disorder, unspecified). Of course before you do that, you should query the physician. Maybe you’ll find out your patient is really afraid of injections and transfusions (F40.231), small spaces (F40.240), or spiders (F40.210).

So don’t break any mirrors or walk under any ladders today and absolutely, positively avoid black cats. If you believe in that bad luck stuff that is.

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Filed Under: Coding

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Michelle A. Leppert About the Author: Michelle A. Leppert, CPC, is a senior managing editor for JustCoding.com. JustCoding provides coders, coding supervisors, and health information management (HIM) directors with educational resources to test their coding knowledge, employ correct coding guidelines, and stay abreast of CMS transmittals.

In addition, she writes and edits the HCPro publication, Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies. Email her at mleppert@hcpro.com.

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  1. Great posts ! Makes it so easy to learn with the twists of humor ! Thanks for that and Please, Keep It Up !

  2. Interesting that you brought up Mental Health.

    What are the overlaps/considerations when you provide mental health with ICD-10/DSM-V?

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