Ask the experts: 5 coding queries cracked

January 7, 2019
AOA's Coding Experts offer answers to frequently asked questions.
Ask the experts

Ask the Coding Experts, by Doug Morrow, O.D., Harvey Richman, O.D., Rebecca Wartman, O.D.

Has coding got you stumped? Worry no more-the AOA's Coding Experts offer answers to frequently asked questions.

Q. The "Epiphora due to insufficient drainage" ICD-10 diagnosis codes changed? What happened and why?

The ICD-10 code sets are constantly being evaluated. The epiphora due to insufficient drainage codes were revised to eliminate the reference to the lacrimal gland because epiphora due to insufficient drainage does not involve the lacrimal glands; rather, this is a problem of drainage through the puncta, canaliculi or nasolacrimal ducts. The code descriptor was revised for accuracy. The revised codes are below:

  • H04.221 Epiphora due to insufficient drainage, right side.
  • H04.222 Epiphora due to insufficient drainage, left side.
  • H04.223 Epiphora due to insufficient drainage, bilateral.
  • H04.229 Epiphora due to insufficient drainage, unspecified side.

Q. Are there really new codes for an MGD diagnosis?

Yes, new codes were developed for MGD. They took effect Oct. 1, 2018. In March 2017, AOA recommended to the ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee that these codes be developed. For a fully updated listing of diagnosis codes, purchase the 2019 Codes for Optometry manual.

Q. Where can I find the list of codes for which reporting on post-operative visits is required?

Post-operative visits list of codes.

Q. I have a new staff member who needs a basic primer regarding coding. Do you have any resources for those new to optometric coding?

Yes, the Back to Basics webinar is available and provides a great intro for coding in the optometric practice.

Q. Do you have any resources on coding related to vision therapy?

Yes, visit for our recently updated guide.

Submit a coding question

Send your questions to AOA's Coding Experts via the online coding question form.

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