2022 ICD-10-CM Code H60

Otitis externa

Version 2021

Not Valid for Submission

ICD-10:H60
Short Description:Otitis externa
Long Description:Otitis externa

Code Classification

  • Diseases of the ear and mastoid process (H60–H95)
    • Diseases of external ear (H60-H62)
      • Otitis externa (H60)

H60 is a non-specific and non-billable diagnosis code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of otitis externa. The code is not specific and is NOT valid for the year 2022 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. Category or Header define the heading of a category of codes that may be further subdivided by the use of 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th characters.

Specific Coding for Otitis externa

Non-specific codes like H60 require more digits to indicate the appropriate level of specificity. Consider using any of the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity when coding for otitis externa:

  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.0 for Abscess of external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.00 for Abscess of external ear, unspecified ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.01 for Abscess of right external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.02 for Abscess of left external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.03 for Abscess of external ear, bilateral
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.1 for Cellulitis of external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.10 for Cellulitis of external ear, unspecified ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.11 for Cellulitis of right external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.12 for Cellulitis of left external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.13 for Cellulitis of external ear, bilateral
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.2 for Malignant otitis externa
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.20 for Malignant otitis externa, unspecified ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.21 for Malignant otitis externa, right ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.22 for Malignant otitis externa, left ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.23 for Malignant otitis externa, bilateral
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.3 for Other infective otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.31 for Diffuse otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.32 for Hemorrhagic otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.33 for Swimmer's ear
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.39 for Other infective otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.4 for Cholesteatoma of external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.40 for Cholesteatoma of external ear, unspecified ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.41 for Cholesteatoma of right external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.42 for Cholesteatoma of left external ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.43 for Cholesteatoma of external ear, bilateral
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.5 for Acute noninfective otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.50 for Unspecified acute noninfective otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.51 for Acute actinic otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.52 for Acute chemical otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.53 for Acute contact otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.54 for Acute eczematoid otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.55 for Acute reactive otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.59 for Other noninfective acute otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.6 for Unspecified chronic otitis externa
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.60 for Unspecified chronic otitis externa, unspecified ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.61 for Unspecified chronic otitis externa, right ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.62 for Unspecified chronic otitis externa, left ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.63 for Unspecified chronic otitis externa, bilateral
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.8 for Other otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.8X for Other otitis externa
  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - H60.9 for Unspecified otitis externa
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.90 for Unspecified otitis externa, unspecified ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.91 for Unspecified otitis externa, right ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.92 for Unspecified otitis externa, left ear
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use H60.93 for Unspecified otitis externa, bilateral

Clinical Information

Information for Patients


Ear Infections

Ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their child to a doctor. Three out of four children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. Adults can also get ear infections, but they are less common.

The infection usually affects the middle ear and is called otitis media. The tubes inside the ears become clogged with fluid and mucus. This can affect hearing, because sound cannot get through all that fluid.

If your child isn't old enough to say "My ear hurts," here are a few things to look for

Your health care provider will diagnose an ear infection by looking inside the ear with an instrument called an otoscope.

Often, ear infections go away on their own. Your health care provider may recommend pain relievers. Severe infections and infections in young babies may require antibiotics.

Children who get infections often may need surgery to place small tubes inside their ears. The tubes relieve pressure in the ears so that the child can hear again.

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders


[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Code History

  • FY 2021 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2020 through 9/30/2021
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016 (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)