Icd 10 Code for Failure to Thrive: Explained

In the field of medical coding, accurately identifying and documenting a patient’s condition is essential for providing effective and efficient healthcare. One such condition that requires precise coding is failure to thrive, a complex syndrome involving inadequate growth and development in infants and young children. In this article, we will discuss the specific ICD-10 code used to classify and track cases of failure to thrive, as well as the significance of accurate coding in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Table of Contents

Understanding Failure to Thrive in Pediatrics

When it comes to failure to thrive in pediatrics, it’s crucial for healthcare professionals to be able to accurately diagnose and code this condition. The ICD-10 code for failure to thrive provides a standardized way to record and track instances of this pediatric growth issue. By understanding the correct code for failure to thrive, healthcare providers can ensure proper documentation and billing for their patients.

The ICD-10 code for failure to thrive is R62.51. This code falls under the category of “Symptoms and signs involving development and growth.” It’s important to note that this code is used specifically for pediatric patients and is not applicable to adults. Using the correct code is essential for accurate medical records, reimbursement, and research purposes.

Additionally, understanding the underlying causes and contributing factors to failure to thrive is crucial in providing comprehensive care for pediatric patients. Factors such as nutritional deficiencies, feeding difficulties, and underlying medical conditions can all play a role in a child’s failure to thrive. Healthcare professionals must thoroughly assess and address these factors to ensure the overall well-being and development of their young patients.

Importance of Accurate ICD-10 Coding for Failure to Thrive

ICD-10 coding is essential for accurately documenting and communicating diagnoses, and this is particularly true when it comes to failure to thrive. Failure to thrive is a condition in which a child fails to meet expected growth and developmental milestones. Diagnosing and coding this condition correctly is crucial for providing appropriate care and obtaining accurate reimbursement.

Accurate ICD-10 coding for failure to thrive ensures that healthcare providers can:

  • Track and monitor the prevalence and outcomes of this condition
  • Receive appropriate reimbursement for services provided
  • Facilitate communication among healthcare professionals and researchers
  • Gain insights into the underlying causes and risk factors for failure to thrive

Without accurate coding, there is a risk of misclassification, which can result in inadequate care, inappropriate allocation of resources, and skewed research findings. Proper coding not only benefits individual patients but also contributes to the broader understanding and management of failure to thrive.

Common ICD-10 Codes for Failure to Thrive and Their Specificity

ICD-10 Codes for Failure to Thrive and Their Specificity

When it comes to diagnosing and coding failure to thrive in medical records, healthcare professionals rely on the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). These codes provide specificity in describing the underlying cause of the condition, which is essential for accurate billing and healthcare management. Here are some common ICD-10 codes for failure to thrive and their specificities:

  • R62.51: This code is used for infant and child undernourishment, which can lead to failure to thrive. It specifically indicates the inadequate intake of calories and nutrients.
  • E41: When failure to thrive is due to nutritional deficiencies, this code comes into play. It covers a range of specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can contribute to the condition.
  • R63.4: In cases where there is poor weight gain in childhood, this code is used to indicate the failure to thrive. It provides specificity in identifying the lack of expected growth and development.

By utilizing these specific ICD-10 codes, healthcare professionals can accurately document and communicate the underlying causes of failure to thrive in patients, leading to more effective treatment and management of the condition. It also ensures proper reimbursement and billing for the provided services, enhancing the overall quality of patient care.

Tips for Accurately Documenting and Coding Failure to Thrive Cases

When it comes to accurately documenting and coding failure to thrive cases, healthcare professionals need to ensure that they are thorough and precise in their approach. Failure to thrive (FTT) is a complex diagnosis that requires careful attention to detail in order to accurately capture the patient’s symptoms and overall condition. Here are some tips for effectively documenting and coding failure to thrive cases:

Documenting Tips:

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the patient, including their growth patterns, nutritional intake, and developmental milestones.
  • Thoroughly document the patient’s medical history, including any underlying medical conditions or environmental factors that may be contributing to their failure to thrive.
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care to gather a complete picture of the patient’s condition.

Coding Tips:

  • Use the ICD-10 code R62.52 for failure to thrive in children.
  • Assign additional codes for any underlying conditions or contributing factors, such as malnutrition, genetic disorders, or environmental deprivation.
  • Ensure that the codes accurately reflect the severity and chronicity of the patient’s failure to thrive.


Q: What is the ICD-10 code for failure to thrive?
A: The ICD-10 code for failure to thrive is R62.51.

Q: What does the ICD-10 code R62.51 signify?
A: The ICD-10 code R62.51 signifies a clinical finding indicating a decrease in the expected rate of physical growth and development in an infant or child.

Q: What are the subcategories under the ICD-10 code R62.51?
A: The subcategories under the ICD-10 code R62.51 include failure to thrive in infancy (P92.6) and failure to thrive in childhood (R62.52).

Q: How is the ICD-10 code for failure to thrive used in clinical practice?
A: The ICD-10 code for failure to thrive is used by healthcare providers to accurately document and track cases of inadequate growth and development in infants and children.

Q: What are the potential causes of failure to thrive in infants and children?
A: Potential causes of failure to thrive in infants and children may include inadequate caloric intake, chronic illnesses, gastrointestinal issues, and psychosocial factors.

Q: How does the ICD-10 code for failure to thrive impact reimbursement and insurance claims?
A: The ICD-10 code for failure to thrive is used to justify the medical necessity of interventions and treatments, and it can impact reimbursement and insurance claims for healthcare services related to addressing the condition.

In Retrospect

In conclusion, the ICD-10 code for failure to thrive, R62.50, is an essential tool for accurately documenting and tracking cases of this condition. By using this specific code, healthcare providers can ensure that they are properly classifying and diagnosing failure to thrive in patients. Additionally, accurate coding can lead to improved patient care, appropriate resource allocation, and better data for research and policy-making. It is crucial for healthcare professionals to stay informed and up-to-date on coding guidelines to effectively address and manage failure to thrive cases.


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