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Understanding ICD-10 R07.9 Code For Chest Pain: Billing And Coding

Individuals of all ages experience chest pain, a prevalent symptom caused by various underlying conditions. Proper coding and billing are essential in accurately documenting and reimbursing healthcare services related to chest pain. With so many codes to choose from, how do you know which one to use?

we will thoroughly explore the ICD-10 R07.9 code, which relates to chest pain of non-specific origin. We’ll examine its implications, and billing procedures, and also delve into other pertinent ICD-10 codes associated with various types of chest pain.

What Is Chest Pain?

Chest pain is a discomfort or pain that occurs in the chest region and can range from mild to severe. It often associates with a myriad of conditions, including heart problems, respiratory issues, gastrointestinal disorders, and musculoskeletal conditions. Due to its diverse etiology, accurate diagnosis and coding are crucial for appropriate treatment and insurance reimbursement.

Diagnosis And Treatment:

Chest pain is a prevalent complaint in the emergency department, accounting for approximately 5% of all visits. As healthcare providers evaluate patients presenting with chest pain, their priority is to rule out life-threatening causes. A study conducted by Fruerfaard et al. shed light on the approximate percentage occurrence of various serious conditions associated with chest pain in emergency department visits:

Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) – 31%: ACS includes conditions such as unstable angina and myocardial infarction (heart attack). This is the most common life-threatening cause of chest pain encountered in the emergency department.

Pulmonary Embolism (PE) – 2%: PE occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs, causing a blockage in the pulmonary arteries. It can lead to severe chest pain and shortness of breath.

Pneumothorax (PTX) – Unreported: Pneumothorax, also known as a collapsed lung, can cause sudden and sharp chest pain, but its exact percentage occurrence was not specified in the study.

Pericardial Tamponade – Unreported (Pericarditis 4%): Pericardial tamponade is a critical condition wherein fluid accumulates in the pericardium (the sac around the heart), leading to compression and hindrance of normal heart function. Pericarditis, an inflammation of the pericardium, was reported to have a 4% occurrence.

Aortic Dissection – 1%: Aortic dissection is a medical emergency in which there is a tear in the inner lining of the aorta, leading to the separation of its layers. It requires immediate attention due to its life-threatening nature.

Esophageal Perforation – Unreported: Esophageal perforation, though unreported in percentage occurrence, is a serious condition where there is a hole or tear in the esophagus, usually caused by injury or underlying medical conditions.

Apart from the life-threatening causes, there are other common reasons for chest pain with varying occurrence rates:

Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease – 30%: Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) can cause heartburn and chest discomfort due to the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus.

Musculoskeletal Causes – 28%: Musculoskeletal issues, such as muscle strains, rib fractures, or costochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone), can result in chest pain.

Pneumonia/Pleuritis – 2%: Infections like pneumonia or inflammation of the lining around the lungs (pleuritis) may be associated with chest pain.

Herpes Zoster – 0.5%: Also known as shingles, this viral infection can cause a painful rash and chest discomfort in some cases.

Pericarditis – Unreported: Pericarditis, apart from being a potential cause of pericardial tamponade, can cause chest pain due to inflammation of the pericardium.

Description Of Chest Pain ICD-10 CM Code:

The ICD-10 R07.9 code falls under Chapter 18, “Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified,” in the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10). Specifically, R07.9 refers to “chest pain, unspecified.”

Basic ICD-10 Information:

The worldwide system, ICD-10, classifies and codes diseases, symptoms, and external causes of injury or disease. Healthcare providers use the R07.9 code as a non-specific option when encountering chest pain and when no more specific diagnosis is available to explain the patient’s chest pain.

Billable ICD-10 Code For Chest Pain:

When billing for chest pain using the ICD-10 R07.9 code, healthcare providers must ensure detailed documentation that supports medical necessity and justifies the use of this non-specific code. Thoroughly assessing the patient’s symptoms, conducting relevant diagnostic tests, and documenting findings are crucial to determine the most accurate diagnosis possible. However, healthcare providers can utilize the R07.9 code if they do not identify a specific diagnosis for the patient’s chest pain.

ICD-9 Code Transition For Chest Pain:

Prior to implementing ICD-10, healthcare providers used ICD-9 for coding and billing purposes. They commonly used ICD-9 code 786.50 (unspecified chest pain) for chest pain. With the transition to ICD-10, they introduced the R07 category to encompass symptoms related to chest pain.

General Guidelines For Chest Pain ICD-10 Code:

To ensure accurate coding, healthcare providers should follow general guidelines while using ICD-10 codes for chest pain:

Determine the specific cause of chest pain when possible and use the appropriate code.

If a specific cause cannot be identified, use the most relevant non-specific code, such as R70.9 or R07.9.

Ensure thorough documentation of the patient’s symptoms, medical history, diagnostic tests, and evaluation to support the selected code.

Stay updated with payer-specific guidelines to prevent claim denials or delays in reimbursement.

List Of ICD 10 Codes For Chest Pain:

Here are some relevant ICD-10 codes related to chest pain:

R07 Category:

The R07 category in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), includes various codes related to symptoms and signs of the circulatory and respiratory systems, with a particular focus on chest pain and discomfort. These codes are essential for accurately documenting and billing healthcare services when patients present with chest pain, but a specific cause or diagnosis is not identified. Let’s explore the key code in the R07 category:

R07.0: Pain in the throat and chest: The R07.0 code is used to describe pain experienced in both the throat and chest. Patients may complain of discomfort that radiates from the throat to the chest or vice versa. This code is used when the exact cause of the pain is not specified, and further investigation is needed to determine the underlying condition. Healthcare providers can use this code to document and bill for cases where patients experience pain in both regions.

R07.1: Chest pain on breathing: As previously mentioned, this code is used when chest pain worsens with breathing or movement. It may be associated with conditions like pleuritis, rib fractures, or other musculoskeletal issues.

R07.2: Precordial pain: This code is used to describe discomfort or pain felt in the area over the heart (precordium), often associated with conditions like angina or pericarditis.

R07.8 Category:

The R07.8 category is a subcategory within the R07 category of ICD-10, focusing on non-specific chest pain. It includes codes that describe chest pain without a specified cause or diagnosis. Here’s the key code in the R07.8 category:

R07.81: Pleurodynia: Pleurodynia refers to sharp, intense chest pain caused by inflammation of the intercostal muscles between the ribs.

R07.82: Intercostal pain: This code is used for localized pain arising from irritation of the nerves or structures within the intercostal spaces between the ribs.

R07.89: Other chest pain: The R07.89 code covers non-specific chest pain cases that do not fit into more precisely defined categories. It serves as a catch-all code for chest pain with no specific cause documented. While this code is useful when a more specific diagnosis cannot be made, healthcare providers should strive to identify the underlying cause whenever possible to ensure accurate coding and appropriate treatment.

What Is An ICD-10 Code Chest X-Ray?

In the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), there is no specific code for “chest x-ray” itself. ICD-10 codes are used to classify diagnoses and medical conditions, not specific procedures or imaging studies.

When a chest x-ray is performed, the ICD-10 code will depend on the reason for the x-ray and the findings of the examination. Common ICD-10 codes related to conditions that might warrant a chest X-ray include:

J18.9 – Pneumonia, unspecified organism
J44.9 – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), unspecified
J20.9 – Acute bronchitis, unspecified
J22 – Unspecified acute lower respiratory infection
R91.8 – Other nonspecific abnormal findings of lung field on imaging
R06.02 – Shortness of breath
R07.1 – Chest pain in breathing

These are just a few examples, and the specific ICD-10 code will depend on the patient’s signs, symptoms, and the radiologist’s findings on the chest x-ray.

Please note that ICD-10 codes can be quite specific, and it’s essential to use the appropriate code based on the medical documentation and guidelines provided by the healthcare facility or relevant coding authorities.


The R07 category in ICD-10 includes various codes related to chest pain symptoms. Proper coding and documentation are vital for accurate billing and effective healthcare management. Healthcare providers should carefully assess patients with chest pain to assign the most relevant code from the R07 category or, if necessary, the R07.8 category when a specific diagnosis is not available.

For more information and queries, you may always Call us at 817-440-7950 Write us an email at: info@rhinomds.com or visit us at rhinomds.com.

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