2022 ICD-10-CM Code Q16.9

Congenital malformation of ear causing impairment of hearing, unspecified

Version 2021

Valid for Submission

ICD-10:Q16.9
Short Description:Congen malform of ear causing impairment of hearing, unsp
Long Description:Congenital malformation of ear causing impairment of hearing, unspecified

Code Classification

  • Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
    • Congenital malformations of eye, ear, face and neck (Q10-Q18)
      • Congenital malform of ear causing impairment of hearing (Q16)

Q16.9 is a billable diagnosis code used to specify a medical diagnosis of congenital malformation of ear causing impairment of hearing, unspecified. The code Q16.9 is valid during the fiscal year 2022 from October 01, 2021 through September 30, 2022 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

The ICD-10-CM code Q16.9 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like bilateral congenital malformation of ears, bilateral impairment of hearing of ears co-occurrent and due to congenital ear malformation, branchiogenic deafness syndrome, congenital absence of ear, congenital anomaly of bilateral external ears with impairment of hearing , congenital anomaly of ear with impairment of hearing, etc. The code is exempt from present on admission (POA) reporting for inpatient admissions to general acute care hospitals.

Unspecified diagnosis codes like Q16.9 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.

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 Q16.9:


Inclusion Terms

Inclusion 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.

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 Q16.9 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:

Present on Admission (POA)

Q16.9 is exempt from POA reporting - The Present on Admission (POA) indicator is used for diagnosis codes included in claims involving inpatient admissions to general acute care hospitals. POA indicators must be reported to CMS on each claim to facilitate the grouping of diagnoses codes into the proper Diagnostic Related Groups (DRG). CMS publishes a listing of specific diagnosis codes that are exempt from the POA reporting requirement. Review other POA exempt codes here.

CMS POA Indicator Options and Definitions
POA Indicator CodePOA Reason for CodeCMS will pay the CC/MCC DRG?
YDiagnosis was present at time of inpatient admission.YES
NDiagnosis was not present at time of inpatient admission.NO
UDocumentation insufficient to determine if the condition was present at the time of inpatient admission.NO
WClinically undetermined - unable to clinically determine whether the condition was present at the time of inpatient admission.YES
1Unreported/Not used - Exempt from POA reporting. NO

Convert Q16.9 to ICD-9 Code

The General Equivalency Mapping (GEM) crosswalk indicates an approximate mapping between the ICD-10 code Q16.9 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


Birth Defects

What are birth defects?

A birth defect is a problem that happens while a baby is developing in the mother's body. Most birth defects happen during the first 3 months of pregnancy. One out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect.

A birth defect may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Some birth defects like cleft lip or neural tube defects are structural problems that can be easy to see. Others, like heart disease, are found using special tests. Birth defects can range from mild to severe. How a birth defect affects a child's life depends mostly on which organ or body part is involved and how severe the defect is.

What causes birth defects?

For some birth defects, researchers know the cause. But for many birth defects, the exact cause is unknown. Researchers think that most birth defects are caused by a complex mix of factors, which can include

Who is at risk of having a baby with birth defects?

Certain factors may might increase the chances of having a baby with a birth defect, such as

How are birth defects diagnosed?

Health care providers can diagnose some birth defects during pregnancy, using prenatal testing. That's why it important to get regular prenatal care.

Other birth defects may not be found until after the baby is born. Providers may find them through newborn screening. Some defects, such as club foot, are obvious right away. Other times, the health care provider may not discover a defect until later in life, when the child has symptoms.

What are the treatments for birth defects?

Children with birth defects often need special care and treatments. Because the symptoms and problems caused by birth defects vary, the treatments also vary. Possible treatments may include surgery, medicines, assistive devices, physical therapy, and speech therapy.

Often, children with birth defects need a variety of services and may need to see several specialists. The primary health care provider can coordinate the special care that the child needs.

Can birth defects be prevented?

Not all birth defects can be prevented. But there are things you can do before and during pregnancy to increase your chance of having a healthy baby:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Ear Disorders

Your ear has three main parts: outer, middle and inner. You use all of them in hearing. Sound waves come in through your outer ear. They reach your middle ear, where they make your eardrum vibrate. The vibrations are transmitted through three tiny bones, called ossicles, in your middle ear. The vibrations travel to your inner ear, a snail-shaped organ. The inner ear makes the nerve impulses that are sent to the brain. Your brain recognizes them as sounds. The inner ear also controls balance.

A variety of conditions may affect your hearing or balance:

Some ear disorders can result in hearing disorders and deafness.


[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Hearing Disorders and Deafness

It's frustrating to be unable to hear well enough to enjoy talking with friends or family. Hearing disorders make it hard, but not impossible, to hear. They can often be helped. Deafness can keep you from hearing sound at all.

What causes hearing loss? Some possibilities are

There are two main types of hearing loss. One happens when your inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged. This type is usually permanent. The other kind happens when sound waves cannot reach your inner ear. Earwax buildup, fluid, or a punctured eardrum can cause it. Treatment or surgery can often reverse this kind of hearing loss.

Untreated, hearing problems can get worse. If you have trouble hearing, you can get help. Possible treatments include hearing aids, cochlear implants, special training, certain medicines, and surgery.

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)