Shelley C. Safian, PhD, RHIA, CCS-P, COC, CPC-I, AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, writes about terms coders will see in physician documentation for ulcers and how to code related conditions in ICD-10-CM.
Insufficient documentation is the leading cause of improper payments for claims involving referring providers, according to a Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) program study detailed in the October 2015 Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter .
Q: I have a question about coding infusion/injections in the ED prior to a decision for surgery. A patient comes into the ED with right lower abdominal pain. The physician starts an IV for hydration, gives pain medication injections, then does blood work and an MRI to rule out appendicitis. The blood work comes back with an elevated white blood count, so the patient is started on an infusion of antibiotics. Then the MRI results come in with a diagnosis of appendicitis. So a surgeon is called in to consult and take the patient to surgery. Can we bill the infusions/injections prior to the decision for surgery? I realize that once the decision is made, then the infusion/injections are off limits and are all included in the surgical procedure. But up until that time, can the ED charge the infusions/injections? They are treating the patient’s symptoms and can’t assume the patient will have surgery until the decision is made by the surgeon.