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Z Codes

What they are used for and why dentistry needs to understand them.

Z codes represent reasons for encounters. A corresponding procedure code must accompany a Z code if a procedure is performed.

Categories Z00Z99 are provided for occasions when circumstances other than a disease, injury, or external cause classifiable to categories A00-Y89 are recorded as ‘diagnoses’ or ‘problems’.

This can arise in two main ways:
(a) When a person who may or may not be sick encounters health services for some specific purpose, such as to receive limited care or service for a current condition, to donate an organ or tissue, to receive prophylactic vaccination (immunization), or to discuss a problem which is in itself not a disease or injury.
(b) When some circumstance or problem is present that influences the person’s health status but is not a current illness or injury.

Encounter codes for health examinations should be coded according to the type of encounter (e.g., adult, child, eyes) when no symptom is evaluated as the reason for the patient encounter. Choose from the following categories:

Examples for use when you are providing the following:

Conscious sedation medical clearance exam; Preoperative exam, Encounter for preprocedural examination such as; Encounter for examinations prior to antineoplastic chemotherapy

Z00 General examination without complaint, suspected or reported diagnosis

Z01 Other special examination without complaint, suspected or reported diagnosis

Z02 Administrative examination

Z01.818 is a billable/specific ICD-10-CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.

Note: there are other codes to describe pre-procedural examinations (Z01.81-),  special screening examinations (Z11-Z13), and pregnancy/reproduction (Z30-Z36, Z39.-)

Stay tuned for the upcoming web program at the beginning of September www.dentalmedicalbilling.com

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