Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD 10 code, icd 10 code Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the body’s tissues which results in stiffness, pain, swelling, fever, fatigue, weakness, chronic pain, and loss of function in the joints.

Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect individuals of all ages and can affect everyone differently. Individuals can also exhibit symptoms in areas that don’t include the joints such as eyes, heart, and lungs. Around 40% of people with rheumatoid arthritis also experience symptoms and signs that don't involve the joints, according to research. Approximately 1.3 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with RA which develops between the ages of 30 and 60.

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Diagnostic criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research has shown that a combination of family history, genetics, sex hormones, and environmental factors such as smoking play a role in the disease. Additionally, diet and exercise may also contribute to RA, as obesity can also increase a person’s risk for developing RA.

Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms worsen in “flares” because of a trigger such as stress, environmental factors (such as cigarette smoke or viral infections), excess activity, or suddenly stopping medications.

In some cases, there may be no clear cause. The diagnostic criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis are based on a set of physical exams, imaging results, and laboratory tests.

The diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis include:
  • Positive biomarker tests like Rheumatoid factor (RF) or CCP antibodies
  • Synovitis in 2 or more large joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles
  • Elevated levels of CRP or an elevated sed rate
  • Inflammatory arthritis in smaller joints
  • Symptoms last more than 6 weeks

Occupational therapy assessment and documentation for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Occupational therapists play a pivotal role in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis specifically in helping individuals manage their symptoms and the ability to continue with their daily living tasks.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis begins with a comprehensive occupational therapy evaluation and assessment of an individual’s current functional abilities, environmental factors, and limitations.

Occupational therapists begin with a medical history and assess functional abilities. Functional abilities may include an individual’s ability to perform various ADL tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, hygiene, toileting, eating/feeding, transfers, and IADL tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and medication management.

Occupational therapists will also assess the underlying components of these abilities such as strength, endurance, range of motion (ROM), pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Occupational therapists will also evaluate fine motor skills, as the RA in the joints of the hands can impact the precision of fine motor skills such as performing fasteners, the ability to use utensils, handwriting, and typing.

Furthermore, occupational therapists will also assess and evaluate environmental factors such as the home environment to assess safety and/or ergonomic components for the home.

Additionally, occupational therapists will also evaluate the need for and educate individuals on the use of assistive devices. RA may also impact an individual’s social and emotional well-being, thus, occupational therapists may assess and provide treatment to provide social support and coping strategies.

A crucial component of occupational therapy treatment is goal setting. It is important to set SMART goals that are individualized and incorporate the client’s needs, preferences, strengths, and limitations.

For example, goals could incorporate increasing range of motion, endurance, or social-emotional well-being to facilitate independence in a variety of ADL tasks or IADL tasks.

In addition, patient and caregiver education is important for the self-management of RA. Educating individuals regarding the condition, utilizing adaptive equipment and technologies, energy conservation techniques, and compensatory strategies are important for managing RA.

Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD 10 code

Another important component of the treatment of RA in occupational therapy is documentation. It is crucial to document history, evaluation and assessment findings, goals, progress on goals, and communication amongst clients and other members of the healthcare team. Documentation also involves the utilization of ICD-10 codes and in this case, specific Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD 10 codes.

The Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD 10 and all other ICD 10 codes are defined by International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10). It is a diagnostic and procedure coding system endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The goal of using Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD-10 codes is to help improve clinical communication through providing more information per code and better support for care management, quality measurement and analytics. It also offers an improved ability to understand severity and risk.

In occupational therapy practice, “the ICD-10 is a billable/specific ICD-10-CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.” The Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD 10 code, unspecified, is M06.9.

It is also vital to incorporate ICD 10 codes to ensure reimbursement, medical necessity, and continued care. The following table has general Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD 10 codes. More specific codes with greater level of detail such as affected extremity can be found on the ICD-10 database website. It is important to utilize Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD 10 codes that are client-specific in occupational therapy practice as it improves overall quality of care and management.

ICD-10 Code



Rheumatoid arthritis, unspecified

M05. 619

Rheumatoid arthritis of unspecified shoulder with involvement of other organs and systems


Rheumatoid arthritis, unspecified hand


Other specified rheumatoid arthritis, unspecified wrist


Other specified rheumatoid arthritis, unspecified hip


Rheumatoid arthritis without rheumatoid factor, unspecified knee


Other specified rheumatoid arthritis unspecified ankle and foot

*All Codes from ICD10data.com

Emerging trends and research

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an area of continued research and developing treatments. Currently, emerging trends and research are focused on early interventions, digital and telehealth, holistic changes, and pharmaceuticals.

With the growing use of telemedicine and digital health, there is an increase in the use of remote monitoring of RA and self-management tools. These tools can include wearable devices, health apps, and accessibility to telemedicine. Holistic changes are focused on lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, smoking cessation programs, and stress and emotional management.

Overall, with meticulous assessment, evaluation, documentation, and incorporating the use of Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD 10 codes, occupational therapy treatment and intervention methodologies can be more effective.

In addition, appropriate and effective documentation facilitates reimbursement, care coordination, interprofessional communication, and informed clinical decision-making, and ultimately contributes to individualized client-centered care and outcomes.

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  1. 2024 ICD-10-CM diagnosis code M06.9: Rheumatoid arthritis, unspecified. https://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/M00-M99/M05-M14/M06-/M06.9
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): Causes, symptoms & treatment faqs. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4924-rheumatoid-arthritis
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, July 27). Rheumatoid arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/rheumatoid-arthritis#:~:text=Rheumatoid%20arthritis%20(RA)%20is%20a,loss%20of%20function%20in%20joints
  4. Understanding ICD-10. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/johns-hopkins-health-plans/providers-physicians/icd-10

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