MRA Thought of the Day – E Code Definitions


Cathie Wilde, RHIA, CCS, Vice President of Coding Services Cathie Wilde, RHIA, CCS, Vice President of Coding Services

Sixteen year old male was driving a dirt bike in the woods when he was thrown from the vehicle resulting in an ankle fracture.

What would the external cause E code be for the above situation? E821.0? E821.2?

Here are my thoughts…

Review of the definitions preceding the transport accident E codes located in the ICD-9-CM book provides some guidance.

Under the code title for Motor Vehicle Non-traffic Accidents (E820-E825) , there is a note referencing the coder to definitions (a) through (k).

(j) describes a motorcycle as a two-wheeled vehicle having one or two riding saddles and sometimes a third wheel for the support of a sidecar. Included are motorized bicycle [moped] and scooter.

(k) describes an off-road motor vehicle as of special design, to enable it to negotiate rough or soft terrain or snow. Examples of special design are high construction, special wheels, driven by treads or support on a cushion of air. Included are all terrain vehicle [ATV} and snowmobile.

It would appear that given the description of (k) above, our example of a dirt bike accident (as well as an ATV accident) would fall into this category with E821.0 being the correct code.

What are your thoughts?

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