Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Getting FASD coded properly

I came across this on a FASD Facebook page.  Please help this Dr. out if you can!!
My name is Alla Gordina and I am a general pediatrician in Central New Jersey, specializing in adoption and foster care.

By this e-mail I am requesting the help of families whose members are affected by FASDs.

In late 2011 many of you responded to my FASD survey, providing us with a lot of extremely important information that will be used in our new project "Fetal Alcohol Answers", which will be launched by the end of this month.

One of the major obstacles in providing care for persons affected by prenatal alcohol exposure is the absence of appropriate diagnostic codes in International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Such void seriously affects the possibility of a patient to receive appropriate diagnostic evaluations and thus - so much needed treatments and accommodations.

I have been in contact with the American Academy of Pediatrics about improving the coverage of FASDs in ICD. Today I received information that it will be possible to present the FASDs case to the Special Advisory Board that governs ICD coding in the United States.

While this isn't by any means a guarantee of success, we finally have the ear of the people who make these decisions, and I looking for help putting together a convincing case for the need for more codes describing all components of FASDs (FAS, pFAS, ARND, etc). Even more, in their correspondence the Board representative stated that if they will believe that issue is urgent enough, the change can be made even in ICD9.

That means that we can attempt to change the situation in 2012 (as implementation of ICD 10 in United States is scheduled for October 2013)
I am working with several FAS clinics, but I do strongly believe that parents do have an important say in this process too.
Please send me at your stories describing (a) the need for proper coding and (b) your assessment of the urgency of the situation.

If your child is followed by the FAS clinic, feel free to forward this e-mail to your clinic's team, so we will have input from as many groups across the country as possible.

Thank you in advance,

Alla Gordina, MD, FAAP

Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Drexel University College of Medicine and
UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Global Pediatrics
International Adoptions Medical Support Services

7 Auer Court, East Brunswick, NJ 08816, USA
732-432-7777 (voice)
732-432-9030 (fax)

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