Diagnostic Radiology Coding Basics, Questions

Got Coding Questions?


First things first, the medical coding world is tough right now. I don’t have exact numbers, but many coders in all different specialties are furloughed or laid off due to Covid-19. I’d like to think that most of us will get our jobs back, but that’s not really what this post is about. Make a long story short, I think now is a good time to either brush up on coding, or learn something new, and I’d like to help other coders do that. So, if you have coding questions related to ICD-10-CM or the radiology section of the CPT book–please feel free to send me the questions and I’ll answer them in the next blog post!

Coding CPT questions can be about:







CT scans


ICD-10-CM codes commonly used in radiology–such as fracture codes, injury codes, pain, screening codes etc.

Common modifiers used–such as 59, X modifiers 76 etc.

You can comment below, or you can email me (Lindsay) at midnightmedicalcoding@gmail.com


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Advice, COVID-19, Diagnostic Radiology Coding Basics, ICD-10 Coding Tips, Medical coder, News

ICD-10-CM Coding For COVID-19

It’s only a matter of time before medical coders will be coding charts that mention COVID-19. The CDC has released info on how to properly code this diagnosis. Go here to read their guidelines.


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Tabs for the ICD-10-CM Book: Get 60 printed, multi-colored, double-sided tabs. These can be used on any 2020 or 2019 ICD-10-CM book from any publisher.




ICD-10 Coding Tips

Beginners Guide To Coding Fractures Using ICD-10-CM-Part 2

Ok, as a follow up to last weeks post about 7th character A, for this week I thought I’d talk about 7th character D and more just about fracture coding in general. Here is a pic from my book:


Please see the pic where I have the star. It says 7th character D is used for encounters after the patient has completed active treatment of the condition and is receiving routine care for the condition during the healing or recovery phase. Ok, just like I mentioned in the last blog post,  the 7th character is not determined by provider or how many visits the patient has had, or anything like that. It just has to do with if the patient is in the healing/recovery phase or not. Examples of the recovery phase: if the patient is having x-rays to determine how a fracture is healing= 7th character D. Sometimes keywords in the report help as well. A radiologist will never say “patient is now in recovery/healing phase.” Keywords for healing is if the documentation mentions “callus formation.” Callus formation means the bones are healing.

Just in general, here are some more facts about fracture coding. These are all found in the ICD-10-CM Book in the guidelines about fracture coding. All fractures default to a displaced fracture if it is not documented as displaced or nondisplaced. (Displaced basically just means the bones are not lined up right). If the report specifies ‘nondisplaced’ fracture, then code it as nondisplaced.

All fractures default to a “closed” fracture if it’s not documented. Closed fracture means that there’s a broken bone but it is not coming out through the skin. This is really gross to think about but since we’re coders, we have to. Basically, if the report states “open fracture,” you’d code it as open fracture. But what that means is that the bone is so broken and messed up that you’d be able to see it. It’s through the skin (these are very bad fractures, sometimes from gunshot wounds and those types of injuries). Don’t worry–I will never post any real pics of fractures or anything on this site. Even though I can read reports for work, I can not look at real pictures or video of anything medical without completely losing it and feeling sick. Not sure if everyone is like that, but I’m the worst. It’s amazing I can even work as a coder I’m so bad with it.

Here are some different types of fractures, but these are drawings so I can handle it 🙂



Do you have any questions about fracture coding? Please comment below or email me at midnightmedicalcoding@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading-



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