July 2020-National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month



In the United States, every year July is observed as National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month (NCCAPM). The campaign highlight awareness about cleft and craniofacial defects affecting head and face. Most common birth defects - cleft lip and cleft palate develops when the facial structures in foetus do not join together during pregnancy causing orofacial cleft - openings or splits in upper lip or palate or both. Preferred line of treatment is surgery, aimed to create natural facial appearance and improve ability to speak, hear and eat normally.


Cleft in the lip or palate is generally identified at birth. Children with this defects may have difficulty with feedings, swallowing, liquids or foods to come out through nose, nasal voice, chronic ear infections, hearing difficulties, speech difficulties and other social, emotional and behavioral problems.


Medical billing and coding for cleft and craniofacial defects is challenging. Physicians providing treatment should use correct diagnosis and procedural codes while submitting medical claims. Experienced medical billing companies can help practitioner/ providers with perfect clinical documentation.


ICD-10 diagnosis codes for Cleft lip and Cleft palate are:


Q35 – Cleft palate

  • Q35.1 – Cleft hard palate

  • Q35.3 – Cleft soft palate

  • Q35.5 – Cleft hard palate with cleft soft palate

  • Q35.7 – Cleft uvula

  • Q35.9 – Cleft palate, unspecified


Q36 – Cleft lip

  • Q36.0 – Cleft lip, bilateral

  • Q36.1 – Cleft lip, median

  • Q36.9 – Cleft lip, unilateral


Q37 - Cleft palate with cleft lip

  • Q37.0 - Cleft hard palate with bilateral cleft lip

  • Q37.1 - Cleft hard palate with unilateral cleft lip

  • Q37.2 - Cleft soft palate with bilateral cleft lip

  • Q37.3 - Cleft soft palate with unilateral cleft lip

  • Q37.4 - Cleft hard and soft palate with bilateral cleft lip

  • Q37.5 - Cleft hard and soft palate with unilateral cleft lip

  • Q37.8 - Unspecified cleft palate with bilateral cleft lip

  • Q37.9 - Unspecified cleft palate with unilateral cleft lip

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