2021 ICD-10-CM Code J20.9

Acute bronchitis, unspecified

Version 2021
Billable Code
Unspecified Code
MS-DRG Mapping
Family Practice
Internal Medicine
Pediatrics

Valid for Submission

J20.9 is a billable diagnosis code used to specify a medical diagnosis of acute bronchitis, unspecified. The code J20.9 is valid during the fiscal year 2021 from October 01, 2020 through September 30, 2021 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

The ICD-10-CM code J20.9 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like acute bacterial bronchitis, acute bronchitis, acute bronchitis co-occurrent with wheeze, acute bronchitis with bronchospasm, acute bronchitis with obstruction , acute bronchospasm, etc.

The code is commonly used in family practice, internal medicine , pediatrics medical specialties to specify clinical concepts such as acute respiratory infections.

Unspecified diagnosis codes like J20.9 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.

ICD-10:J20.9
Short Description:Acute bronchitis, unspecified
Long Description:Acute bronchitis, unspecified

Code Classification

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 J20.9 are found in the index:

Approximate Synonyms

The following clinical terms are approximate synonyms or lay terms that might be used to identify the correct diagnosis code:

Convert J20.9 to ICD-9 Code

The General Equivalency Mapping (GEM) crosswalk indicates an approximate mapping between the ICD-10 code J20.9 its ICD-9 equivalent. The approximate mapping means there is not an exact match between the ICD-10 code and the ICD-9 code and the mapped code is not a precise representation of the original code.

Information for Patients


Acute Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs. It causes a cough that often brings up mucus. It can also cause shortness of breath, wheezing, a low fever, and chest tightness. There are two main types of bronchitis: acute and chronic.

Most cases of acute bronchitis get better within several days. But your cough can last for several weeks after the infection is gone.

The same viruses that cause colds and the flu often cause acute bronchitis. These viruses spread through the air when people cough, or though physical contact (for example, on unwashed hands). Being exposed to tobacco smoke, air pollution, dusts, vapors, and fumes can also cause acute bronchitis. Less often, bacteria can also cause acute bronchitis.

To diagnose acute bronchitis, your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and listen to your breathing. You may also have other tests.

Treatments include rest, fluids, and aspirin (for adults) or acetaminophen to treat fever. A humidifier or steam can also help. You may need inhaled medicine to open your airways if you are wheezing. Antibiotics won't help if the cause is viral. You may get antibiotics if the cause is bacterial.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


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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)