Who are our experts? The Advocacy Council of ACAAI consists of the same team of experts who served you as the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (JCAAI): J. Allen Meadows, MD, FACAAI, chair; Stephen Imbeau, MD, FACAAI, vice chair; Donald Aaronson, MD, JD, MPH, FACAAI, director of governmental affairs; and Gary Gross, MD, FACAAI, associate director of governmental affairs.
The Advocacy Council has been asked for guidance in determining the severity of bronchial asthma in the world of ICD-10. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut guidance.
What’s the problem? ICD-10 coding came before the 2007 NIH guidelines, so ICD-10 doesn’t fully reflect the current definitions.
We believe the best approach to severity-based coding is to consider the patient as though they were not taking controller-type medications. A patient with well-controlled bronchial asthma might appear to have mild persistent asthma when in reality, their asthma at baseline is really moderate to severe. This baseline is the true severity of their asthma and you should code as though they were not taking medications at all.
The College and the Advocacy Council are here for you during your transition to ICD-10. We have numerous resources available, and our experts are on hand to answer your questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.