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What Are the CPT and ICD-10 Codes to Report Measles Viral Infections?
What are the CPT and ICD-10
Codes to Report Measles
Measles is a viral infection of the respiratory system. This
article lists in detail the symptoms, treatment methods and
medical codes for documenting this condition.
Outsource Strategies International
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory system caused by the
rubeola virus that lives in the mucus of your nose and throat. Generally, the virus can
spread through the air and through direct contact with the infected mucus and saliva. An
infected person can release the infection into the air when they cough or sneeze. People
can contract the virus by putting their fingers in the infected person’s mouth or nose or by
rubbing their eyes after touching the infected person. In most cases, the rubeola virus can
stay active on surfaces and in the air for up to 2 hours. As the infected particles enter the
air and settle on surfaces, anyone within close proximity can become infected. It is
estimated that about 90 percent of susceptible people who are exposed to someone with
the virus will be infected. Infectious diseases such as measles require adequate and
accurate documentation. The medical billing and coding process for measles can be
complicated. Physicians can utilize medical billing services for accurate and timely
claim filing and appropriate reimbursement.
According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
starting from January 2019, 22 states in the United States have reported a total of 704
new cases of measles – out of which more than 500 of the people infected were not
vaccinated. It’s the greatest number of cases in a single year in 25 years and represents a
huge setback for public health after measles was declared eliminated in the United States
People who are at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles include
infants and children aged less than 5 years, adults above 20 years of age, pregnant women
and those with weak immune systems. Serious illnesses or complications that occur due
to this condition include diarrhea, ear infection, diarrhea, vomiting, eye infection,
pneumonia, encephalitis, bronchitis, laryngitis or croup, difficulty breathing, pregnancy
problems and brain damage.
What Are the Common Symptoms?
Measles signs and symptoms normally appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the
virus. Common symptoms include -
Dry hacking cough
Runny nose or coryza
Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the
mouth on the inner lining of the cheek (also called Koplik's spots)
Photophobia or sensitivity to light
A reddish-brown rash
Generalized body ache
The symptoms of measles always include fever – that range from mild severe, up to 40.6
degrees centigrade. The fever can last for several days and it may fall and then rise again
when the rash appears.
Measles Viral Infections - Stages
Generally, the infection occurs in sequential stages spread over a period of two to three
weeks. The different stages include –
Infection and incubation – People don’t experience any specific signs and
symptoms during this time. For the initial 10-14 days after suffering infection, the
measles virus incubates.
Non-specific signs and symptoms – Typically, this infection may begin with a
mild fever, accompanied by constant cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes
(conjunctivitis) and sore throat. These signs may last two or three days.
Acute illness and rash – This stage may begin with small red spots, with spots and
bumps. Over the next few days, the rash may spread down the arms and chest,
then over the thighs, lower legs and feet. These rashes may also be accompanied
with high fever.
Communicable period – An infected person can spread the virus to others for
about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the
rash has been present for four days.
Diagnosing, Treating and Coding Measles
Physicians generally diagnose measles by examining skin rashes and checking for
symptoms that are characteristic of the disease, such as white spots in the mouth, fever,
cough, and sore throat. However, if they are unable to confirm a diagnosis based on their
level of observation, they may conduct a blood test to confirm the presence of the rubeola
There's no exact modality for treating measles infection. The virus and symptoms
typically disappear within two to three weeks. However, certain measures can be taken to
protect individuals who have been exposed to the virus. Physicians may generally
Over-the-counter medications such as - acetaminophen (Tylenol, others),
ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Motrin, others) or naproxen (Aleve) to relieve fever
and muscle aches that accompany measles
Humidifier to relieve a cough and sore throat
Vitamin A supplements
Drinking plenty of fluids (six to eight glasses of water a day)
Medical billing and coding tasks related to infectious diseases can be challenging. The
diagnosis, screening tests and other procedures must be carefully documented using the
relevant CPT codes as well as the ICD-10 codes on the medical claims submitted to
health insurers for reimbursement. Medical billing services offered by reputable medical
billing and coding companies can help physicians use the right codes for their billing
90705 - Measles virus vaccine, live, for subcutaneous use
90706 - Rubella virus vaccine, live, for subcutaneous use
90707 - Measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine (MMR), live, for subcutaneous
90708 - Measles and rubella virus vaccine, live, for subcutaneous use
90710 - Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine (MMRV), live, for
B05 - Measles
B05.0 - Measles complicated by encephalitis
B05.1 - Measles complicated by meningitis
B05.2 - Measles complicated by pneumonia
B05.3 - Measles complicated by otitis media
B05.4 - Measles with intestinal complications
B05.8 - Measles with other complications
B05.81 - Measles keratitis and keratoconjunctivitis
B05.89 - Other measles complications
B05.9 - Measles without complication
Rubella or German measles is classified under category B06 and includes the following
B06 - Rubella [German measles]
B06.0 - Rubella with neurological complications
B06.00 - Rubella with neurological complication, unspecified
B06.01 - Rubella encephalitis
B06.02 - Rubella meningitis
B06.09 - Other neurological complications of rubella
B06.8 - Rubella with other complications
B06.81 - Rubella pneumonia
B06.82 - Rubella arthritis
B06.89 - Other rubella complications
B06.9 - Rubella without complication
Preventing Measles through Vaccinations
A person cannot get measles more than once. The risk of complications is higher in
children and adults with a weak immune system. Vaccination can help prevent a measles
outbreak. The MMR vaccine - a three-in-one vaccination - can protect your children from
the measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). The MMR vaccine is only licensed
for use in children 12 months through 12 years of age.
The CDC recommends the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) and Varicella (VAR)
vaccines, or the combination Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Varicella (MMRV) vaccine, for
children 1-12 years of age, given in two separate doses - the first dose at 12-15 months of
age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. While one dose of MMR vaccine is expected
to be 93% effective at preventing measles; two doses are approximately 97% effective.
The second dose is administered to address primary vaccine failure. Most health
insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines. Medicare prescription drug plans also cover
MMR (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella) vaccines.
People who have already had measles are normally immune and they are unlikely to get it
again. People who are not immune should seriously consider taking the measles vaccines.
Medical billing and coding for measles can be complex, as there are several codes
associated with the condition. By utilizing medical coding services provided by a
reliable medical coding company (that offers the services of AAPC-certified coding
specialists), healthcare practices can ensure correct and timely medical billing and claims