ICD 10 Codes Guide - Healthcare

Diarrhea ICD 10 Code

In this topic will learn on Diarrhea ICD 10 Codes, guidelines along with examples.

Diarrhea is very familiar term to all of us. Every one of us face this problem some or the other time in life. Diarrhea mainly has loose watery stools.

Reason for diarrhea may be contaminated food or any infectious organism like virus or bacteria. Sometimes it just comes and stops after 2 to 3 times or within 2 days. This type of very common diarrhea is called acute. You do not need to worry about this type of diarrhea. But if diarrhea persists for more than 2 days you need to visit doctor. It may be due to any infections inside intestine or bowel. Diarrhea is called chronic when it lasts for atleast 4 weeks.

Diarrhea is not a disease instead symptom of a disease. Below are few common conditions which cause chronic diarrhea.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohns disease
  • Malabsorption syndromes
  • Radiation therapy

Symptoms and Tests:

There can be loose watery stools, bloating in stomach, abdominal pain or cramp and fever. The person gets dehydrated after continuous diarrhea.

As diarrhea can be due to organisms like virus, bacteria or parasite it is important to do a blood test and stool test to find the organism. Physician may do a flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy for further evaluation.

Diarrhea ICD 10 Codes and guidelines:

Diarrhea ICD 10 codes are located in chapter 1 (infectious and parasitic diseases A00-B99), 11 (diseases of digestive system K00-K95) and 18 (symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings R00-R99).

  • Coder has to verify the correct reason for diarrhea and code to the highest specificity. Do not assign code for unspecified diarrhea R19.7 at that time.
  • Avoid coding unspecified diarrhea if it is a common symptom of the disease diagnosed. For example, do not code R19.7 (unspecified diarrhea) along with ulcerative colitis K51.90.
  • Diarrhea acute is coded as R19.7 (unspecified diarrhea) but diarrhea chronic is indexed to K52.9 (colitis unspecified) in ICD-10 CM book.
  • Diarrhea due to any organism leads to category A04 codes. Do not code R19.7 (unspecified diarrhea) along with this.

Diarrhea ICD 10 Codes given below are as per index listing in ICD-10 CM manual:

Below are few examples to understand coding diarrhea.

Diarrhea ICD 10 code Example 1:

58 year old Mary was diagnosed with uterine cancer last week. She underwent first chemotherapy 2 days ago. Since then she has diarrhea and vomiting along with abdominal pain. She does not have any prior history of cancer. She looks extremely tired. Physician checked her vitals and found low BP of 100/65 mmHg. Physical examination was normal except for bloating and RLQ abdominal pain. Physician diagnosed this case as chemo induced diarrhea. He admitted the patient and started on IV fluids.

ICD-10 codes for this scenario would be:

K52.1 – Drug induced diarrhea

C55 – Uterine cancer

R10.31 – Abdominal pain right lower quadrant

Note: Drug induced diarrhea is coded primary followed by cancer as diarrhea is the primary case in this scenario.

Diarrhea ICD 10 code Example 2:

Charles is a 30 year old man coming to emergency room with diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain from past 3 days. He started to get these symptoms after eating hotdog from a new restaurant. His vitals was checked and found low BP and fever of 101 degree. He does not have any chest pain, heart burn or respiratory symptoms. He never experienced GERD symptoms earlier or now. His abdominal pain is generalized. Physician ordered a blood test and stool test. He reviewed the results and diagnosed as Gastroenteritis and dehydration.

ICD-10 codes for this scenario would be:

K52.9 – Gastroenteritis.

E86.0 – Dehydration

R10.84 – Generalized abdominal pain

R50.9 – Fever

Note: Unspecified diarrhea R19.7 is not coded here as it is a common symptom of gastroenteritis. Remember that chronic diarrhea also leads to K52.9