Question:

What would be the correct diagnosis code to assign for VAP that develops after admission?

Answer:

A patient may be admitted with one type of pneumonia (e.g., code J13—pneumonia due to Streptococcus pneumonia) and subsequently develop ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). In this instance, the principal diagnosis would be the appropriate code from categories J12–J18 for the pneumonia diagnosed at the time of admission. Code J95.851—ventilator associated pneumonia—would be assigned as an additional diagnosis when the provider has also documented the presence of VAP. (Source: Page 49 of the FY 2017 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting)

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