Many physicians say that systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria are insufficient and confusing at best, and don't indicate whether a patient is truly sick. Some patients may meet necessary criteria for SIRS and truly have sepsis or another severe diagnosis. Others, however, may meet two of four criteria but not actually have SIRS. Where does all of this information leave coders? Often between a rock and hard place. Jennifer E. Avery, CCS, CPC-H, CPC, CPC-I, and Robert S. Gold, MD, offer seven tips for coders who need to negotiate tricky sepsis coding.
Depending on the demographics of the region a hospital serves, its coders could determine code assignment for hundreds of deliveries and pregnancy-related services annually. Lori-Lynne Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC, and Susan Proctor, RHIT, CCS, CPC, review the relevant coding guidelines for coders who handle coding for these patient encounters.
Do not view the proposed rule extending the ICD-10 implementation date from October 1, 2013, to October 1, 2014, as a year-long break from ICD-10 preparations. Rather, focus on using the additional time allotted to your advantage. This includes conducting documentation and coding assessments to gauge ICD-10 readiness. Gloryanne Bryant, BS, RHIA, RHIT, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, explains why—and how—facilities should start assessing the readiness of their coding staff and documentation procedures in relation to ICD-10 requirements and create strategies to manage any deficiencies.
QUESTION: Our pulmonologists are not comfortable documenting acute respiratory failure unless the patient is on a ventilator. Also, they rarely document chronic respiratory failure, even in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients on continuous home oxygen. I’m trying to develop standard query forms for acute and chronic respiratory failure and am running into these obstacles. How do you recommend handling this problem?