What do cubism and coding have in common? Both can be viewed as art forms. Joel Moorhead, MD, PhD, CPC, details the three steps that the coding artist performs in reassembling medical record elements into abstracted form.
Physicians often use the acronyms IBS (which should indicate irritable bowel syndrome) and IBD (which should indicate inflammatory bowel disease) interchangeably even though they represent completely different conditions with different treatment and prognoses. Robert S. Gold, MD, and Drew K. Siegel, MD, CPC, offer tips on how to decipher documentation related to these two conditions.
CMS officially announced the Recovery Auditor prepayment review demonstration in November 2011, but then in January 2012 decided to delay the program by three months. Since then—despite rumors that the program could be coming soon —the official start date has been unknown to the public. This changed however, when CMS announced Friday, August 3, that Recovery Auditor prepayment reviews will begin August 27.
Q: A patient has been diagnosed with peritonsillar cellulitis and oropharyngeal cellulitis. The physician documents that he performed a “needle aspiration of the left peritonsillar abscess.” In the body of the operative report, the physician states, “An 18-gauge needle was inserted and 1 cc of pus was aspirated. This was sent for aerobic, anaerobic, C&S [culture & sensitivity], and gram stain. I then put the 18-gauge needle in again and multiple passes were obtained without any aspirate.” Because ICD-9-CM does not include a code for “aspiration of peritonsillar abscess” some coders wanted to use ICD-9-CM procedure code 28.0 (incision and drainage of tonsil and peritonsillar structures) while others want to report code 28.99 (other operations on tonsils and adenoids). Which code is correct?