If the resident continues to have a dry cough after hospitalization, do I still use the RO5 for cough–he had one positive test for COVID-19 and 2 negatives?



You should only code the signs and symptoms (i.e. R05 cough) if the patient has s/s associated with COVID-19 but a definitive diagnosis has not been established, so you would code for the negative, but not + case. If a patient with signs/symptoms associated with COVID-19 also has an actual or suspected contact with or exposure to someone who has COVID-19, assign Z20.828, Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases, as an additional code.

Blog by Shelly Maffia, MSN, MBA, RN, LNHA, QCP, CHC, Proactive Medical Review

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