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Thank You ICD-10 – Fibromyalgia Finally Has A Code!

The human body is full of surprises and mysteries.  No two human bodies respond to an external factor in exact same manner.  Therefore, the medical field has to be on a constant alert about what is new regarding the challenges faced by physicians across the globe.  When a similar pattern of symptoms are documented in a large number of cases, research is conducted and a name is given to it.  Since 1979, when ICD-9 was implemented, there have been hundreds of such symptoms, diagnoses and their treatments which have been created.  All these known additions have been included into ICD-10.

One such much needed addition is the code M79.7, for Fibromyalgia Syndrome.  More than 12 million Americans are believed to have Fibromyalgia Syndrome, prominent amongst women between the ages 25-60.  Symptoms for are Fibromyalgia are abdominal pain, chronic headaches, dryness in eyes, nose and mouth, hypersensitivity to cold and/or heat, inability to concentrate, incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet, stiffness.

The blood test, FM/a, is used to check whether a patient has Fibromyalgia.  However, since the test costs around $700, not all patients agree to opt in for it.  Thus doctors have to make assumptions on the basis of physical exams and medical history.  Surprisingly, there isn’t a fully trusted cure for Fibromyalgia.  Physicians mostly tend to provide prescriptions on the basis of symptoms.

Since ICD-9 did not have a specific code for Fibromyalgia, the code 729.1 for Myalgia and Myositis was used to signify it.  Before ICD-10 came into the picture, physicians had a very controversial opinion about Fibromyalgia.  Now, since there is a designated code for it; even the ones having a contradictory view will have to consider it as a disease.  Not only the doctors, but the payors must to approve of it too.

It’s notable how a simple code can make a difference.  The story does not end here.  Since it’s now recognized, we can soon hope to see more research on the same.  For help with your ICD-10 coding, get in touch with us: info@medconverge.com.

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