Creating a query and knowing when to query can be complicated, and there are a number of continued training tactics that prove successful for the coder when trying to improve upon physician query practices. This article looks at a few of the official sources that offer query guidance for coders. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS, reviews Coding Clinic guidance published in the first and second quarters of this year as it pertains to coding guidelines, severity of illness, and MS-DRG assignment for the inpatient setting.
Cesar M. Limjoco, MD, writes that although different literature has become available on principal diagnosis selection through the years, questions and disputes keep popping up. In this article, he revisits the issue and provides additional insight to code selection for conditions such as acute respiratory failure and congestive heart failure.
Q: We recently had a patient admitted for syncope workup. The workups were negative except for incidental findings of acute kidney injury (AKI). The physician documented “AKI likely 2/2 hypovolemia. Treatment focus is to trend creatinine levels and hydration.” Would the AKI or hypovolemia be sequenced as the principal diagnosis?
William E. Haik, MD, FCCP, CDIP, writes that complex pneumonias can segregate to a higher-weighted MS-DRG than other pneumonia types, so reviewing clinical elements with your physician staff may help improve documentation and avoid adverse determinations by external reviewers for these conditions.
Inpatient coding audits need to be tailored to the type of record being reviewed, the time it may take to complete the audit, and any compliance-related issues that may crop up. This article focuses on how coding managers can streamline these aspects to ensure a successful audit. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Allen Frady, RN-BSN, CCDS, CCS, CRC, says that defending code assignment against denials requires more than reviewing the denial to determine if the condition was coded and reported according to the coding guidelines; it requires an understanding of payer requirements as well.
Q: Our team is having a hard time determining a principal diagnosis for a patient with a history of stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) who is receiving chronic hemodialysis and is in acute renal failure (ARF) with volume overload. Which ICD-10-CM code should be the principal diagnosis?