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How to Report Dystonia with the ICD-10 Codes


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Dystonia is a range of movement disorders that involve involuntary movements and extended muscle contractions. The article discusses the documentation guidelines and the ICD-10 codes used for reporting this condition.

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How to Report Dystonia with the ICD-10 Codes

  1. 1. 1-800-670-2809 How to Report DYSTONIA with ICD-10 Codes? Dystonia is a range of movement disorders that involve involuntary movements and extended muscle contractions. The article discusses the documentation guidelines and the ICD-10 codes used for reporting this condition. 2018
  2. 2. 1-800-670-2809 Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by persistent or intermittent muscle contractions that cause slow repetitive movements and abnormal postures. The muscle movements (spasms) may be usually painful, uncontrolled and twisting and may resemble a tremor. The condition in most cases can affect one part of the body, two or more adjacent parts, or all the parts of the body. The muscle spasms can be mild or severe and may interfere with the day-to-day tasks of individuals. Dystonia is not a single condition, but a range of disorders. The symptoms of this neurological syndrome vary from mild to severe and can impact different parts of the body. Documenting this disorder requires correct recording of all the symptoms and the treatment options provided. Medical coding outsourcing is an ideal option for physicians to streamline their documentation requirements. Reports from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons suggest that dystonia affects up to 250,000 people in the United States, making it the third most common movement disorder after essential tremor and Parkinson's disease. Generally, most cases of dystonia start in people aged 40 to 60 years and it can affect people of all age groups. However, women are more prone to this disorder than men. Types of Dystonia and Prominent Symptoms Generally, this movement disorder is classified on two main bases - Underlying causes  Primary dystonia - not related to another condition. No cause can be identified.  Secondary dystonia - related to genetics, a neurological change, or an injury. Body parts affected  Focal dystonia - only one part of the body is affected.  Segmental dystonia - two or more connected regions of the body are affected  Multifocal dystonia – affects at least two unconnected regions of the body  Generalized dystonia - both legs and other regions of the body are affected.
  3. 3. 1-800-670-2809  Hemidystonia - half of the entire body is affected. The initial symptoms of this condition may be quite different (depending upon the type and form of dystonia) and begin in a single area such as the leg, neck or arm. But over a period of time, these symptoms become more visible or widespread and may worsen with stress, fatigue or anxiety. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms associated with this condition –  Uncontrolled muscle cramps and spasms  Parts of your body twisting into unusual positions – such as your neck being twisted to the side or your feet turning inwards  Shaking (tremors)  Uncontrolled blinking  Speech difficulties  Cramping of the foot  A "dragging leg" In most cases, these symptoms may be continuous or may come and go. In addition, they may be triggered by stress or certain other activities. Diagnosing and Documenting Dystonia The exact causes of dystonia are not known. But, it may involve altered nerve-cell communication in several regions of the brain. Some forms of this condition are inherited. Diagnosis of dystonia will begin with an analysis of previous medical history and a detailed physical examination. Neurologists will conduct a detailed physical exam to check for typical signs and symptoms of this condition and run several diagnostic imaging tests such as MRI scan, CT scan, electromyography (EMG) and other laboratory tests like blood and urine tests and genetic tests to arrive at a definite diagnosis. These tests will also help to determine the type and form of dystonia (whether they have primary or secondary dystonia). There are several options for treating dystonia. The treatment modality generally depends on the type of dystonia and severity of its symptoms. To better manage the muscle contractions associated with this condition, physicians/neurologists may recommend a combination of treatment methods involving – medications (such as levodopa, botulinum toxin, anticholinergics and muscle relaxants), physical therapy or surgery (deep brain stimulation and selective denervation surgery). Neurologists must be
  4. 4. 1-800-670-2809 accurately reimbursed for the various treatment options offered to their patients. The diagnosis and other tests done must be reported on the medical claims using the correct medical codes. Medical billing and coding services provided by reliable companies can help physicians use the correct codes for their medical billing. The following ICD-10 codes are used for diagnosing dystonia condition – G24 - Dystonia G24.0 - Drug induced dystonia  G24.01 - Drug induced sub acute dyskinesia  G24.02 - Drug induced acute dystonia  G24.09 - Other drug induced dystonia  G24.1 - Genetic torsion dystonia  G24.2 - Idiopathic no familial dystonia  G24.3 - Spasmodic torticollis  G24.4 - Idiopathic orofacial dystonia  G24.5 - Blepharospasm  G24.8 - Other dystonia  G24.9 - Dystonia, unspecified Living with dystonia can be difficult and frustrating, as this condition can affect people in different ways. The severity of symptoms can change over time and vary from one person to another. As this neurological disorder has no cure, patients can do a number of things to minimize its effects. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as sensory tricks to reduce spasms, stress reduction, applying heat or cold therapies (to ease muscle pain) and avoiding harmful drugs and toxins can help prevent different forms of dystonias.