Life threatening asthma

Created Aug 2017
Reviewed Dec 2019


How do we code the documentation of life threatening asthma?

It is not common to see doctors documenting ‘acute severe asthma’.  Can we code life threatening asthma to J46 Status asthmaticus?


No.  As per ACS 1002 Asthma J46 Status asthmaticus should be assigned only if the asthma is documented as ‘acute severe’ or ‘refractory’.  Therefore, the coder should consult with the clinician to confirm the diagnosis of life threatening asthma.  However, where it is not possible to obtain further clarification from the clinician assign J45.9 Asthma, unspecified.


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