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Feature:
Senile Purpura, A Hierarchical
Condition Category (HCC)
ICD-10 Code: D69.2

 

Keeping patients healthier requires keen observation, particularly of conditions that may be misidentified. This is the case with senile purpura, a common, benign skin condition. Senile purpura falls within the hierarchal condition category (HCC) 48: Coagulation Defects and Other Specified Hematologic Disorders and is included as part of CMS's Risk Adjustment Model.

 

Senile purpura develops due to thinning dermal tissues and debilitating blood vessels from aging and sun damage. Blood vessels burst and leak into body tissue, which causes discolored skin patches. While it is common amongst older populations, it often goes undiagnosed due to the misidentification of the condition.

 

Senile purpura demonstrates slightly different characteristics than typical bruising and consists of discolored, irregularly shaped skin areas that generally last between one to three weeks. Unlike normal bruising, areas of skin with senile purpura experience abnormal stages of coloring and are subject to long-term reactions. Cases of senile purpura can occur in various areas of the body, often the forearms, dorsal hands, the neck, and on the face.

 

This common – yet chronic – condition occurs equally in both men and women. In some instances, senile purpura develops in adults above 50 years old, and more frequently, in those above 65. Individuals who experience greater sun exposure are at a greater risk of senile purpura because of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays on sensitive skin.

 

Documenting senile purpura is a crucial step in the treatment process. It is important to provide an initial diagnosis that details the patient’s symptoms and characterizes the condition under the appropriate ICD-10 Code: D69.2 Other nonthrombocytopenic purpura. To effectively diagnose senile purpura, healthcare professionals must include correct documentation, so it is not categorized as bruising or ecchymosis.