H60.9 is a non-specific and non-billable ICD-10 code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of unspecified otitis externa. The code is not specific and is NOT valid for the year 2023 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.
Unspecified diagnosis codes like H60.9 are acceptable when clinical information is unknown or not available about a particular condition. Although a more specific code is preferable, unspecified codes should be used when such codes most accurately reflect what is known about a patient's condition. Specific diagnosis codes should not be used if not supported by the patient's medical record.
- Otitis Externa-. inflammation of the outer ear including the external ear canal, cartilages of the auricle (ear cartilage), and the tympanic membrane.
Specific Coding for Unspecified otitis externa
Non-specific codes like H60.9 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 unspecified otitis externa:
Index to Diseases and Injuries References
The Index to Diseases and Injuries is an alphabetical listing of medical terms, with each term mapped to one or more ICD-10 code(s). The following references for this diagnosis code are found in the injuries and diseases index:
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:
- Tugging at ears
- Crying more than usual
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Trouble sleeping
- Balance difficulties
- Hearing problems
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
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- FY 2023 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2022 through 9/30/2023
- FY 2022 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2021 through 9/30/2022
- 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)