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.
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?
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?
Q: If a patient is admitted to the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and cholelithiasis, and is treated for both, would you code the cholelithiasis as the principal diagnosis because the patient had his or her gallbladder removed?
Q: We have claims that are hitting an edit between a procedure HCPCS code and the new codes for moderate sedation (99151–99153). Since moderate sedation is no longer inherent in any procedure beginning January 1, why are these scenarios hitting an edit?
Q: My hospital’s coding team keeps having trouble distinguishing between J44.0 (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute lower respiratory infection) and J44.1 (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with [acute] exacerbation. Is there any guidance out there that can help clarify their differences? We would appreciate any help.
Q: We just heard about a new add-on HCPCS code for 2017, C1842 (retinal prosthesis, includes all internal and external components; add-on to C1841) for the Argus Retinal Prosthesis, but are not sure how to report it along with C1841 (retinal prosthesis, includes all internal and external components). It has nearly the same description as C1841, so this is confusing.
Q: I have a question about coding a medically induced coma. For example, how would I report a patient on a Precedex drip for alcohol withdrawal, supported with mechanical ventilation, and intensive nursing care?
Q: We have an off-campus, provider-based department that is “non-excepted,” so we have to report modifier –PN (nonexcepted service provided at an off-campus outpatient, provider-based department of a hospital). Is that just for the services that would be paid under the OPPS if the department were “excepted”?
Q: I notice the parenthetical remarks underneath the new 2017 CPT spinal epidural injection codes (62321, 62323, and 62327) indicate that fluoroscopy, CT, and ultrasound codes are not to be reported with the code. However, the code descriptors only include fluoroscopy and CT, without any mention of ultrasound (76942). Is ultrasound included in the description for 62321?
We want your coding and compliance questions! The mission of Coding Q&A is to help you find answers to your urgent coding/compliance questions. To submit your questions, contact Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies Editor Amanda Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Q: For the new 2017 epidural injection CPT® codes, the longer-term injections (63234-62327) indicate they are to be used if they are administered on more than a single calendar day. What if we start the administration at 10 p.m. and then discontinue the administration at 1 a.m.? That would be two calendar days. Can we used those codes or should we use the shorter-term injection series (62320-62323)?
Q: We are a critical access hospital and don’t get paid under the OPPS. We get reimbursed based on our cost of procedures, tests and services. Is modifier –JW (drug amount discarded/not administered to any patient) applicable to us beginning in January?
Q: When coding and trying to sequence a diagnosis such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, I understand that there is a “use after” mandate, but how are coders to know which codes the “use additional code” note is providing sequencing advice for?