Since the physician doesn't need to document a specific root operation, coders cannot rely solely on the terms the physician uses; thus it is important for each coder to fully understand each definition. This article takes a look at the root operations Drainage, Extirpation, and Fragmentation. Note: To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Q: One of my coworkers thought we needed the phrase “unable to clinically determine” as an option on every multiple-choice query we send. My take on it is that if we have “other” with an option for free text, that would cover us for compliance. Further, I thought it was inappropriate to include this option in some cases, as it may offer an option that is preventing me from obtaining the detail and specificity I need.
James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP , reviews recent coding audits at that Northside Medical Center of Youngstown, Ohio, and Vidant Medical Center of Greenville, North Carolina, and gives readers tips on how to better prepare their facilities through these examples.
Trey La Charité, MD, discusses the importance of monitoring your facility’s case-mix index, and how evaluating each component of a case-mix index allows you to narrow your focus and to hone in on all of the factors that might be affecting them.
On March 8, CMS released eight frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON). The FAQs reinforce that psychiatric hospitals must comply with the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act and MOON.
Laura Legg, RHIT, CCS, CDIP , explains how external coding audits are an important part of shining a light into all coding operations and turning risk into security and peace of mind. Note: To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Q: I am the coding manager for our inpatient coding department. I am wondering if I should create an audit plan to monitor new coders or difficult diagnosis. If so, is there anything specific I should consider when trying to implement a plan?
A study conducted by Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) based on data obtained from the 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database, revealed that sepsis accounts for a higher rate of unplanned readmissions than the other studied medical conditions.
The incidence of stroke and transient ischemic attack is increasing as the baby-boomer population ages. James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP , writes that understanding and embracing clinical and coding fundamentals for these conditions is essential in the joint effort to promote providers’ complete documentation and the coder’s assignment of clinically valid codes.
The selection of the principal diagnosis is one of the most important steps when coding an inpatient record. The diagnosis reflects the reason the patient sought medical care, and the principal diagnosis can drive reimbursement.
The intersection of CMS’ packaged payment policy and the increasing volume of Medically Unlikely Edits (MUE) can be likened to a car crash waiting to happen. Hospitals are having valid, medically necessary claim lines denied – including charges and units below MUE limits. Providers can help stop the crash by ensuring their claims, CPT coding, medical necessity, and the units are all correct.
With a new year underway, providers likely need to get a handle on some key new modifiers, as well as important changes to an existing modifier and the deletion of a modifier that previously raised a lot of questions and operational concerns.
In today’s ever-changing healthcare landscape, emphasis is shifting away from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance, from volume-based care to value-based reimbursement, and from case-mix index to outcome measures.
Q: Facilities often have two charges for services performed in an operating room (OR) suite. For example, a facility performs a colonoscopy and an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, which took a total of 20 minutes in the procedure room. The facility charged two set-up fees plus an additional five minutes of OR time. Would this be considered a duplicate charge?
The human eye may be small, but it’s one of the most complex organ systems in the body. Review the anatomy of the eye and how to code for conditions affecting the system, including new details for 2017.
Amber Sterling, RN, BSN, CCDS , and Jana Armstrong, RHIA, CPC , discuss revenue integrity and how it focuses on three operational pillars: clinical coding, clinical documentation improvement, and physician education.