How accurate must the dx codes on a ct scan report be? Would they put one that dx a cancer if they werent reasonably certain? I have 162.9 on mine but I dont quite understand what it means. From what I looked up online it means "Malignant neoplasm of the bronchus and lungs" unspecified. Can you explain that in easy terms to understand?
Hi. The "162.9" code you are referring to is the ICD (International Classification of Diseases) code for your illness. This code is just a means of standardizing how diagnoses are named, so that: 1) health professionals coming from different places could understand each other's diagnoses, and 2) health insurance claims can be standardized. "162.9" is the code for the diagnosis of "malignant neoplasm of the bronchus and lungs, not specified" - lung cancer in plain English.
Now, does this mean that your doctors are sure that you have lung cancer, just because they classified your diagnosis as 162.9? The answer is: not necessarily. The problem with converting into ICD code is that some information about the original diagnosis is lost. For instance, if your doctor sees a round opacity in your lungs on CT scan, he may consider this finding as suspicious for cancer. He then writes down a diagnosis of "rule out bronchogenic carcinoma", which means that he's suspecting the opacity to be lung cancer, but he still isn't sure at that point and needs to "rule out" this diagnosis by doing additional tests. However, when "rule out bronchogenic carcinoma" is converted to ICD code(162.9), that element of uncertainty does not get reflected in the code.
To be definite about the diagnosis of cancer, a biopsy of the suspected mass needs to be done. CT scan can only suggest, but not prove the existence of malignancy.
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