EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a two-part series on coding hypertension in ICD-10. In this installment, Rhonda Buckholtz provides a clinical context for hypertension.

Understanding clinical conditions and relationships is an important component of coding. With many code assignments currently being paid in accordance with quality measures and assignments, using a code with less specificity when more detailed information is found in the medical record can hurt your bottom line. It’s also important that you work with your physicians on clinical documentation improvement.

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