Traditionally, the OPPS rulemaking cycle has been the main vehicle for changes to outpatient coding and billing regulations and policy that hospitals need to pay attention to. But Jugna Shah, MPH , writes that, increasingly, CMS has been introducing or discussing changes relevant to outpatient hospitals beyond the scope of the OPPS rules.
James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, helps coders and CDI specialists process important aspects of Coding Clinic’s First Quarter 2017 guidance such as the sequencing of pneumonia in the setting of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP, writes about how understanding the different forms of viral hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis, as well as their effects on the liver, help to clarify coding assignment. Note: To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Joel Moorhead, MD, PhD, CPC , explains that a patient with an atypical presentation, by definition, may have the disease but might not meet typical criteria for diagnosis; thus, the patient needs to be at the center of clinical validation.
Ghazal Irfan, RHIA, writes that it’s pivotal that coders have a thorough and in-depth understanding of complex surgeries such as excisional debridements, along with comprehensive knowledge of relevant Coding Clinics and guidelines.
With new data feeding into DRGs, facilities can finally start to see the impact of coders reporting new ICD-10 specificity and if cases are going to the same DRG groups that they did in ICD-9-CM. One MS-DRG group falling into question this year is for acute ischemic stroke with use of thrombolytic agent. Note: To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
One of the primary difficulties in achieving uniformity of code assignment is that, in some circumstances, selecting the principal diagnosis is believed to be up to the individual coder or CDI specialist. Let’s take a closer look at the 2017 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting to understand whether this is really the case.
Alcohol, as a legal substance for those 21 and older, is commonly seen as more benign than illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine. However, alcohol can also physically harm the body in many ways. In ICD-10-CM, the categories related to alcohol fall under category F10.- (alcohol-related disorders).
Clinical documentation improvement (CDI) specialists, in theory, bridge the gap between physicians and coders. However, CDI and coding teams are often educated separately and work apart from each other.
All of us in ICD-10-CM/PCS coding compliance are facing a tsunami of denials from payers, Recovery Auditors, and Medicare quality improvement organizations. This is due to the auditors’ removal of ICD-10-CM codes based on provider documentation; auditors can perceive that a patient did not have clinical indicators supporting the presence of the documented condition.
CMS released the fiscal year 2018 IPPS proposed rule April 14, and with it came a bevy of new potential ICD-10-CM codes. Explore the new additions to the ophthalmologic, non-pressure chronic ulcer, maternity and external cause codes ahead of implementation October 1.
Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS , First Quarter 2017, which became effective March 15, provides interesting perspectives that may be useful in our deliberations with payers or Recovery Auditors. Let’s process some of its guidance.
Ghazal Irfan, RHIA, writes about healthcare’s shift from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance, volume-based care to value-based reimbursement, and case-mix index to outcome measures, and how your facility can achieve compliant coding practices among these changes.
Shannon E. McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CPC-I, CEMC, CRC, CCDS, discusses the reporting of alcoholism, its key documentation details, and its effect on MS-DRGs in ICD-10. Note: To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Query practices have changed a lot over the years. With so many shifts, coders and clinical documentation specialists may need to take a step back and take stock of the changes they’ve worked through, reassessing current practices against industry recommendations and shoring up policies to prevent well-known pitfalls.
Providers often document “global developmental delay” in pediatric charts. The phrase is used to describe when a child takes longer to reach certain development milestones than other children the same age, such as walking or talking. Children with conditions such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy may also have a global developmental delay.
Queries are definitely not what they used to be. When I first started as a CDI specialist, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the query process was a muddy exercise in creative writing. CDI specialists wrote all kinds of crazy things in order to get physicians to answer a query. Then in 2001 came the first AHIMA practice brief, “Developing a Physician Query Process,” which gave order and standards to the query process.
Clinical documentation improvement (CDI) specialists bridge the gap between physicians and coders. This article takes a look at the benefits of CDI and coding collaboration, and how CDI specialists can address coding hot topics at their own facilities.
Erica E. Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS , comments on a recent Coding Clinic that has garnered a lot of questions on inpatient obstetrics coding and gives advice on how she thinks this new guidance is flawed. Note: To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Long before ICD-10 became a focus, working as a clinical documentation improvement manager with physicians to improve their progress and/or operative notes was a challenge—doctors either got it or they didn’t. But as the transition from paper charts to an electronic medical record began, providers started to understand how to better document their visits, since they had to choose from drop-down menus and multiple options to complete their notes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Red letter days in coding compliance occurred in December 2016 and January 2017 with the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) release of two audit reports. These reports asserted that Northside Medical Center of Youngstown, Ohio, and Vidant Medical Center of Greenville, North Carolina, improperly submitted ICD-9-CM codes for marasmus and severe malnutrition.
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.
Crystal R. Stalter, CPC, CCS-P, CDIP, writes about how fully specified documentation is the key to quality care, compliance, and eventual reimbursement, and how documentation software can help to streamline these processes.
The 2017 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting brought many changes and updates for coders, and present-on-admission (POA) reporting was not excluded. Completely understanding POA guidelines is necessary for any inpatient coder.
Optimal ICD-10 accuracy cannot be achieved by simply looking up a code in an encoder or book. Knowing the rationale for what you are coding, why you are applying one code versus another, and having the knowledge base to correctly apply the 2017 Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting are the ingredients necessary for accurate clinical coding.
Clinical validation denials (CVD) result from a review by a clinician, such as a registered nurse, contractor medical director, or therapist, who concludes retrospectively that a patient was not really afflicted by a condition that was documented in the medical record and coded by the coder.
In promoting ICD-10-CM coding integrity and compliance, cerebrovascular disease represents one of the greatest challenges for providers and coders alike. It seems that clinicians, ICD-10-CM, and risk-adjusters (those who create the DRG system), do not sing the same tune.
Laura Legg, RHIT, CCS, CDIP, writes about the new round of Recovery Auditor (RA) contracts, and how even the most experienced RA response team will need to understand the new challenges providers face with CMS’ 2017 changes. Note: To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription. Once you have set up your free registration, you can log in and access this article by clicking here.