Just when you thought you had your RAC processes in place, more changes appear on the horizon. CMS wasn't shy about making changes to the Medicare RAC program in 2011. For example, the second half of the year saw demand letters shift to become the responsibility of Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC)—a change that went into effect January 3, 2012. Joseph Zebrowitz, MD, and Debbie Mackaman, RHIA, CHCO, comment on this change as well as other updates, including the RAC Statement of Work, the Medicaid RAC final rule, and the new pre-bill demonstration program.
A coder can be misled when coding directly from an encoder, and heavy dependence on one can ultimately affect a coder’s skill set. Glenn Krauss, BBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPUR, FCS, PCS, C-CDIS, CCDS, explains that a critical limitation of encoders is that they cannot physically reason. This inability to deduce often contributes to inaccurate ICD-9-CM code assignment at the expense of clinical accuracy in the reporting of disease processes, not to mention potential reimbursement and measures of continuity of care post-hospitalization.
Computer-assisted coding (CAC) is a hot topic these days. Many industry experts claim that CAC is the wave of the future—that its accuracy has been proven, and that humans cannot match its productivity. With CAC, elements such as fatigue, stress, and inexperience are no longer factors that can negatively affect code assignment. Many articles and vendors sing its praises. However, is it really all that? Robert S. Gold, MD, and Lori Cushing, RHIT, CCS, discuss some relevant concepts.
Times are changing, and, most likely, so are the jobs of your health information management (HIM) staff members. In some cases, there's a sudden addition of responsibilities, such as the implementation of the recovery audit contractor program. In other cases, the increased use of technology triggers a shift. If these changes aren't managed appropriately, you may end up with declines in performance, careless errors, low productivity, or diminished quality. Elizabeth Layman, PhD, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, shares her approach to HIM department and job restructuring.
When Jim Brown, FHFMA, RHIA, CCS, started working at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in early November 2010, he quickly realized that there were a number of opportunities to improve their health information management operations and efficiencies. In this article, Brown shares strategies and tips for how he and his management team were able to identify areas that needed improvement and reduce department expenses and come in 9.5% ($149K) under budget for the end of fiscal year 2011.
As I heaved my ICD-9 Manual , projector, and laptop into the overhead bin on my flight home from Atlanta this past Friday after teaching an inpatient coding boot camp, a thought occurred to me: What...
Have you ever had a To-Do list that’s a mile long, and you just don’t know where to start? This implementation timeline is going to feel less like a mile and more like a Marathon. I thought it might...