Coders who keep in mind the injuries that define multiple significant trauma are more likely to identify these cases and assign DRGs based on this classification when present. Joel Moorhead, MD, PhD, CPC, and Beverly (Cross) Selby, RHIT, CCS, examine what defines multiple significant trauma and discuss the coding guidelines for these sometimes complicated cases.
Robert S. Gold, MD, discusses updates to the code definitions and exclusions for various lung diseases, such as pulmonary insufficiency and respiratory failure, and cautions coders about the potential for over-reporting conditions that patients don't have or for identifying conditions that do not meet the intent of the codes.
Even if you didn’t make a personal New Year's resolution, you should make a professional one: to be more conscientious when scrutinizing physician documentation. Experts say every coder should scrutinize physician documentation, especially with ICD-10-CM/PCS looming on the horizon. Glenn Krauss, BBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPUR, C-CDI, CCDS, and Dinh Nguyen examine the role coders play in determining diagnosis quality and accuracy.
Trailblazer Health Enterprises, LLC, the Medicare administrative contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction 4 (i.e., Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) stated in a February 21 notice that about 68% of reviewed claims billed with MS-DRG 470 (joint replacement or reattachment of lower extremity without MCC) resulted in denials. The MAC cited missing or insufficient documentation as the reason for 96% of these denials.
QUESTION: Can a patient have encephalopathy after surgery? For example, a patient becomes confused post-surgery and is transferred from the medical-surgical floor to the intensive care unit, where he or she receives high doses of pain medication via IV. However, the patient recovers well and the confusion disappears after the IV fluids and reduction in pain medication and oxygen. Would it be appropriate to query the physician regarding encephalopathy and its possible cause, or would this be a red flag for auditors? The situation did extend the patient’s length of stay by one day.