ICD-10-CM Code Z71.9

Counseling, unspecified

Version 2020 Billable Code Unacceptable Principal Diagnosis POA Exempt

Valid for Submission

Z71.9 is a billable code used to specify a medical diagnosis of counseling, unspecified. The code is valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. The ICD-10-CM code Z71.9 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like advice about treatment given, advice given, attended diabetes structured education program, counseled by a counsellor, counseled by a doctor, counseled by a midwife, etc The code is exempt from present on admission (POA) reporting for inpatient admissions to general acute care hospitals.

The code Z71.9 describes a circumstance which influences the patient's health status but not a current illness or injury. The code is unacceptable as a principal diagnosis.

Short Description:Counseling, unspecified
Long Description:Counseling, 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 guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code Z71.9:

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.
  • Encounter for medical advice NOS

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 Z71.9 are found in the index:

Code Edits

The Medicare Code Editor (MCE) detects and reports errors in the coding of claims data. The following ICD-10 Code Edits are applicable to this code:

  • Unacceptable principal diagnosis - There are selected codes that describe a circumstance which influences an individual’s health status but not a current illness or injury, or codes that are not specific manifestations but may be due to an underlying cause. These codes are considered unacceptable as a principal diagnosis.


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

  • Advice about treatment given
  • Advice given
  • Attended diabetes structured education program
  • Counseled by a counsellor
  • Counseled by a doctor
  • Counseled by a midwife
  • Counseled by a nurse
  • Counseled by a social worker
  • Counseled by member of primary health care team
  • Counseled by voluntary worker
  • Counseling of benefit
  • Counseling of no benefit
  • Counseling procedure with explicit context
  • Discussed with caregiver
  • Discussed with pharmacist
  • Educating parent of subject
  • Education of caregiver
  • Education of family
  • Education reinforced
  • Had a chat to parent
  • Had a chat to patient
  • Health education given
  • Patient counseled
  • Patient given advice
  • Patient given medical advice
  • Person counseled
  • Person counseled by
  • Referred by consultant
  • Referred by physician

Clinical Information

  • DISTANCE COUNSELING-. counseling conducted via electronic or other non face to face interactions.
  • COUNSELING-. the giving of advice and assistance to individuals with educational or personal problems.
  • GENETIC COUNSELING-. an educational process that provides information and advice to individuals or families about a genetic condition that may affect them. the purpose is to help individuals make informed decisions about marriage reproduction and other health management issues based on information about the genetic disease the available diagnostic tests and management programs. psychosocial support is usually offered.
  • SEX COUNSELING-. advice and support given to individuals to help them understand and resolve their sexual adjustment problems. it excludes treatment for psychosexual disorders or psychosexual dysfunction.
  • VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE-. systematic efforts to assist individuals in selecting an occupation or suitable employment on the basis of aptitude education etc.
  • DIRECTIVE COUNSELING-. counseling during which a professional plays an active role in a client's or patient's decision making by offering advice guidance and/or recommendations.

Present on Admission (POA)

Z71.9 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 Z71.9 to ICD-9

  • V65.40 - Counseling NOS (Approximate Flag)
  • V65.9 - Reason for consult NOS (Approximate Flag)

Code Classification

  • Factors influencing health status and contact with health services (Z00–Z99)
    • Persons encountering health services in other circumstances (Z69-Z76)
      • Persons encntr health serv for oth cnsl and med advice, NEC (Z71)

Code History

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