Not Valid for Submission
H66.9 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 media, unspecified. 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.
Unspecified diagnosis codes like H66.9 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.
Specific Coding for Otitis media, unspecified
Non-specific codes like H66.9 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 otitis media, unspecified:
Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries
The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with coding notes and guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code H66.9:
Inclusion TermsInclusion Terms
These terms are the conditions for which that code is to be used. The terms may be synonyms of the code title, or, in the case of "other specified" codes, the terms are a list of the various conditions assigned to that code. The inclusion terms are not necessarily exhaustive. Additional terms found only in the Alphabetic Index may also be assigned to a code.
- Otitis media NOS
- Acute otitis media NOS
- Chronic otitis media NOS
Use Additional CodeUse Additional Code
The “use additional code” indicates that a secondary code could be used to further specify the patient’s condition. This note is not mandatory and is only used if enough information is available to assign an additional code.
- code for any associated perforated tympanic membrane H72
Index to Diseases and Injuries
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 the code H66.9 are found in the index:
- OTITIS MEDIA-. inflammation of the middle ear including the auditory ossicles and the eustachian tube.
- OTITIS MEDIA WITH EFFUSION-. inflammation of the middle ear with a clear pale yellow colored transudate.
- OTITIS MEDIA SUPPURATIVE-. inflammation of the middle ear with purulent discharge.
Information for Patients
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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