Is coding of diagnoses, comorbidities, and complications in total knee arthroplasty accurate?

Michael A. Mont, Simon C. Mears, Lynne C. Jones, Amar D. Rajadhyaksha, Ann Marie Krackow, Maneesh Bawa, David S. Hungerford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Coding of diagnoses, comorbidities, and complications is important for health care delivery, not only for appropriate hospital and physician reimbursement, but also for a correct assessment of complication rates. The purpose of this study was to determine the agreement of coding of diagnoses, comorbidities, and complications for total knee arthroplasty between 2 groups of coders. Between January 1, 1997, and November 18, 1997, 100 consecutive primary total knee arthroplasties were done by 2 orthopaedic surgeons. Diagnoses, comorbidities, and complications were coded by professional hospital coders according to the Healthcare Finance Administration guidelines, then recoded by a second team with orthopaedic experience. Although the hospital coders matched diagnoses with the orthopaedic team 96.5% of the time, they determined a complication rate of 1.4 per patient and a comorbidity rate of 2.9 per patient, whereas the orthopaedic team coded for 0.7 complications per patient and 3.7 comorbidities. Based on these results, there should be interaction and communication between hospital coders and health care professionals to check that coding is accurate and reproducible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-772
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Accuracy
  • Billing
  • Coding
  • Medical records
  • Total knee arthroplasty (TKA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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