As a reminder when filing Medicare and other third party payer claims, Item 21 is the appropriate area on the CMS-1500 claim form to provide the ICD-9 codes applicable to the patient’s condition. The diagnosis codes should be entered in priority order (primary, secondary condition, etc.). The codes should be provided in the appropriate fields within Item 21. Incorrect placement of these codes may cause rejections due to the claim being processed through the Medicare Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanner.
Two diagnoses provided:
Place in fields 1 and 2 within Item 21, which are above and below each other.
Do not place in fields 1 and 3 within Item 21, which are across from each other.