Modifiers are sometimes essential to ensure proper payment, but choosing the correct one can be tricky. Sarah L. Goodman, MBA, CHCAF, CPC-H, CCP, FCS; Katherine Abel, CPC, CPMA, CEMC, CPC-I; and Susan E. Garrison, CHCA, CHCAS, CCS-P, CHC, PCS, FCS, CPAR, CPC, CPC-H, discusssome confusing modifiers and how to use them accurately.
Medical necessity establishes the foundation for evaluation and management (E/M) code selection and supports the need to services provided to the patient. Peggy Stilley, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, COBGC, ACS-OB , and Caral Edelberg, CPC, CPMA, CAC, CCS-P, CHC, AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, explain how to define, determine, and defend medical necessity for E/M codes.
The AMA significantly changed how coders report cervicocerebral imaging in 2013. Andrea Clark, RHIA, CCS, CPC-H, and David Zielske, MD, CIRCC, CPC?H, CCC, CCS, RCC, discuss the changes and provide tips for coding these services.
Providers setting charges based on an understanding of their costs is not a new concept, says Jugna Shah, MPH, president and founder of Nimitt Consulting. However, providers struggle with this or fail to do it correctly, and then stand to deteriorate their future payment rates since CMS relies on provider data to set payment rates not only for inpatient and outpatient services, but also for laboratory services.
Coding debridement of ulcers requires that coders know the type, location, and depth of the ulcer and the treatment provided. Gloria Miller, CPC, and Robert S. Gold, MD, review the clinical and coding aspects of ulcer debridement.
Outpatient providers are beginning to see more and more medical necessity audits, especially in the ED and for evaluation and management (E/M) levels. Caral Edelberg, CPC, CPMA, CAC, CCS-P, CHC, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer, and Joanne M. Becker, RHIT, CCS, CCSP, CPC, CPC-I, AHIMA approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, review the guidelines for ED E/M services and highlight common audit risk areas.
Even experienced coders struggle to determine when to append modifiers -58, -78 and -79 because they are very similar in definition, but very different in scope and usage. Lori-Lynne A. Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC, reveals the nuances coders must understand to correctly use these modifiers.
To correctly code for radiation oncology services, coders need to understand the various elements of the treatment. Rebecca Vandiver, CPC, CPC-I, and Chandra Stephenson, CPC, CPC-H, CPMA, CPC-I, CANPC, CEMC, CFPC, CGSC, CIMC, COSC, analyze these complex services from a coding perspective.
Radiation oncology uses high-energy radiation to shrink or kill tumors or cancer cells with minimal harmful effects to healthy surrounding cells. To correctly code for radiation oncology services, coders need to understand the various elements of the treatment.
Anesthesia coding in some ways is similar to evaluation and management coding—only easier. Chandra Stephenson, CPC, CPC-H, CPMA, CPC-I, CANPC, CEMC, CFPC, CGSC, CIMC, COSC, explained the 10 steps to coding anesthesia during the AAPC National Conference in Orlando, Fla., April 14-17.
The AMA revised the molecular pathology codes in the CPT ® Manual in 2012, but at that time CMS did not adopt the codes as it was still debating whether and how to change the reimbursement system for these services going forward. For CY 2013, CMS elected to recognize the codes, which meant it had to finalize how to pay for them. While CMS did not change pamyent for these services under the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) despite industry pressure, its change to the new codes means a change in the payments providers can expect this year and in the future.
At first glance, the new CPT ® codes for reporting molecular pathology services might seem simple. They certainly look easier than the old stacking codes that focused on methodology and processes, resulting in multiple codes and quantities being used to report a single test. Jugna Shah, MPH, and Michelle L. Ruben, detail some of the nuances of correct code assignment for molecular pathology tests.
Breast biopsies should be easy to code because coders have so few codes to assign, but it is one area where documentation is lacking. Stacie L. Buck, RHIA, CCS-P, RCC, CIC, reveals what key elements coders should look for in a breast biopsy note.
With no national guidelines in place for facilities to use to determine evaluation and management (E/M) level, coders must apply their facility’s guidelines when coding an outpatient visit. Caral Edelberg, CPC, CPMA, CAC, CCS-P, CHC, and Joanne M. Becker, RHIT, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CPC-I, use three ED case studies to highlight potential pitfalls for ED E/M leveling.
Evaluation and management (E/M) coding is incredibly subjective. Two coders can look at the same documentation and choose two different E/M levels and both will be able to justify their choice. Caral Edelberg, CPC, CPMA, CAC, CCS-P, CHC, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer , Lori Owens, RHIT, CCS, and Deborah Robb, BSHA, CPC, discuss how electronic medical records can complicate E/M coding even more.
The AMA added five new nuclear medicine codes to the radiology section of the 2013 CPT Manual , while revising and deleting a number of codes that represented outdated technology or were bundled into placement procedures.
Genetic screening is often used to detect abnormal genes or possible fetal anomalies during antepartum care. Lori-Lynne A. Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC, reviews some of the most common genetic tests and what diagnosis codes to report.
One of the major changes to the 2013 CPT ® Manual is the replacement of the term "physician" with "physician or other qualified healthcare professional" in a wide range of codes. Marie Mindeman and Andrea Clark, RHIA, CCS, CPC-H, discuss how this change affects code assignment.