Wondering how to code wandering?

It’s not uncommon for patients with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia to wander away from their own homes or homes in which care is being provided.

When documentation indicates that a patient diagnosed with dementia is wandering, remember to code it as a behavioral disturbance and add the code for wandering.
If, for example, an Alzheimer’s patient is found wandering in her neighbor’s back yard, the event would be coded in this way:
– Alzheimer’s disease G30.9
– Dementia in diseases classified elsewhere with behavioral disturbance F02.81
– Code, if applicable, to identify wandering in dementia in conditions classified elsewhere Z91.83Note that Z91.83 is sequenced after the dementia, to code first the underlying disorder.

Health Nuggets: A little dose of knowledge