ICD-10 Example for SLPs

October is usually a great month: college football is back, there’s a slight chill in the air (except here in Arizona), and store shelves start filling up with holiday decorations. This upcoming October is even more exciting thanks to the transition to ICD-10. Now, I don’t expect you to look forward to using ICD-10 like you would devouring handfuls of your favorite Halloween candy (I’m looking at you, peanut butter M&M’s)—but the new code set doesn’t have to put the “trick” in “trick or treat,” either. Lucky for you, we’ve got a sweet ICD-10 coding scenario to stuff in your training exercise goodie bag:

The Example

Autistic disorder

The Patient

The patient is a 4-year-old male who presents with the following conditions:

  • Nonverbal, with the exception of some echolalia
  • Age-appropriate receptive language skills
  • Limited expressive language skills (he uses a simple picture system to express his basic needs)
  • Sensory issues and eating resistance

The Codes

Primary Code

  • F84.0, autistic disorder

Additional Codes

These codes indicate the reasons for outpatient therapy:

  • F80.1, expressive language disorder
  • R48.8, other symbolic dysfunctions
  • R63.3, feeding difficulties

The Description Synonyms

These codes are pretty straightforward—at least at first glance (sort of like the left Twix and right Twix sitch). Did you know that every code in this scenario actually has multiple alternative names to describe the same underlying concept? The ICD-10 code title (i.e., the name of the code itself) is the best description for the patient’s condition, but providers often use alternative descriptions to search for the ICD-10 code that best fits a patient’s condition, so the World Health Organization (WHO) created description synonyms for many of the codes in ICD-10. Here are the description synonyms for the codes in this example:

Autistic disorder

The description synonyms for F84.0 are:

  1. Active infantile autism
  2. Autism disorder
  3. Autism disorder, residual state
  4. Autism, childhood onset
  5. Autism, infantile
  6. Autism, infantile, active
  7. Autism, residual
  8. Autistic disorder of childhood onset
  9. Childhood psychosis
  10. Psychosis in early childhood
  11. Psychosis with origin in childhood
  12. Psychosis, childhood, current or active state
  13. Psychosis, early child
  14. Psychosis, early childhood
  15. Residual infantile autism

Expressive language disorder

The description synonyms for F80.1 are:

  1. Developmental expressive language delay
  2. Developmental expressive language disorder
  3. Expressive developmental language delay
  4. Expressive language delay
  5. Expressive language delay, mild
  6. Expressive language delay, moderate
  7. Expressive language delay, severe
  8. Language disorder, expressive
  9. Mild expressive language delay
  10. Moderate expressive language delay
  11. Severe expressive language delay

Other symbolic dysfunctions

The description synonyms for R48.8 are:

  1. Aphasia, angular gyrus syndrome
  2. Aphasia-angular gyrus syndrome
  3. Gerstmann syndrome

Feeding difficulties

The description synonyms for R63.3 are:

  1. Developmental delay in feeding
  2. Developmental delay, feeding
  3. Feeding delay, developmental

The Summary

Coding for ICD-10 isn’t so spooky after all, right? But just like you wouldn’t want to be caught without candy on October 31, you wouldn’t want to be caught unprepared for ICD-10 on October 1. Take advantage of our other educational tools and tips on ICD10forPT.com and the WebPT Blog. While they may not always be SLP-specific, we do provide a lot of guidance around coding strategy and logic that is applicable to practitioners in all disciplines. And the more resources you have at your disposal during this transition, the better.