Optum360 coding books logo
    Contact Us   (7 a.m.–7 p.m. CST)
  Home > Coding Central Articles > Coding Central Articles  
Coding Central
Coding Central Home
Inside Track to ICD-10
Coding Central Articles
Code This!
Case Studies
Chargemaster Corner

Articles for:
March 27, 2018

Spring OPPS Update Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) summarized the spring update to the outpatie... Learn More

Therapy Caps Repealed and Payment for Therapy Assistant Services Lowered

Medicare payment caps on outpatient therapy were permanently repealed effective January 1, 2018. ... Learn More

OIG Update Work Plan, Studies Cardiac Device Credits

In March, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted several updates to its existing Work Plan,... Learn More

View Article Archive

To subscribe, paste this link into your preferred feedreader, or click on one of the buttons below:

Medical Coding News Archives

NIH Publishes New Guidelines for Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

August 24, 2016:

On August 10, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released new proposed clinical guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). These guidelines, which update those issued more than 10 years ago, provide a new definition of documented prenatal alcohol exposure, guidelines for evaluating facial and physical deformities associated with FASD, and updated discussions of the impairments characteristic of each FASD subtype.

The new guidelines were developed based on a year-long analysis of 10,000 participants in studies of prenatal alcohol exposure. The studies were funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the NIH.

It is estimated that as many as 5 percent of children in the United States show signs of prenatal alcohol exposure. Such signs include low IQ, restricted growth, small head size, facial deformities, and various behavioral issues.

The new guidelines still recognize four diagnostic categories within FASD: fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), partial FAS, alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD) for children with a physical malformation.

What is new is the more detailed definition of documented prenatal alcohol exposure. Such exposure is indicated when the mother has a documented alcohol-related social or legal problem during pregnancy, or when the mother or reliable source reports consumption of the following during pregnancy:

• Six or more drinks per week for at least two weeks

• Three or more drinks on two or more occasions

The guidelines also now include information on how to assess lip/philtrum abnormalities and a scoring system for physical deformities associated with FAS.

The guidelines note that all children diagnosed with FASD, except those with ARBD, must have cognitive or behavioral impairments. In the past, children without neurobehavioral impairment could be diagnosed with FASD based on characteristic facial features, growth restriction, and head size. The new guidelines also include epilepsy or recurrent seizures as possible signs of FAS or PFAS.

The guidelines were published in Pediatrics ( http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/2/e20154256?download=true).

The most common ICD-10-CM codes to use to report FASD, PFAS, ARBD, and ARND are too numerous to list here, but a fairly comprehensive list is posted on the American Academy of Pediatrics web page. Note that for 2017, the “(suspected to be)” nonessential modifier has been removed from codes P00.0-P04.9.


Sign in to
Your Account
Forgot your username?
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account?
It's easy to create one.

Promo code

Have a promotional source code? Enter it here:

What is this?

Code This!

Test your coding knowledge!