Physicians often use the acronyms IBS (which should indicate irritable bowel syndrome) and IBD (which should indicate inflammatory bowel disease) interchangeably even though they represent completely different conditions with different treatment and prognoses. Robert S. Gold, MD, and Drew K. Siegel, MD, CPC, offer tips on how to decipher documentation related to these two conditions.
Q: A patient has been diagnosed with peritonsillar cellulitis and oropharyngeal cellulitis. The physician documents that he performed a “needle aspiration of the left peritonsillar abscess.” In the body of the operative report, the physician states, “An 18-gauge needle was inserted and 1 cc of pus was aspirated. This was sent for aerobic, anaerobic, C&S [culture & sensitivity], and gram stain. I then put the 18-gauge needle in again and multiple passes were obtained without any aspirate.” Because ICD-9-CM does not include a code for “aspiration of peritonsillar abscess” some coders wanted to use ICD-9-CM procedure code 28.0 (incision and drainage of tonsil and peritonsillar structures) while others want to report code 28.99 (other operations on tonsils and adenoids). Which code is correct?
QUESTION: I'd like to address our coders' questions on how to code poisoning due to bath salts. Internet research has led me to many different options: codes 977.8 (other specified drug/medicinal), 970.89 (other CNS stimulant), 969.70 (psychostimulant, unspecified), among others. What would you suggest? There don't seem to be any guidelines out there and the coding for this seems to be all over the place.
Physicians often use the acronyms IBS (which should indicate irritable bowel syndrome) and IBD (which should indicate inflammatory bowel disease) interchangeably even though they represent completely different conditions with different treatment and prognoses.
QUESTION: A patient is admitted with pneumonia and atrial fibrillation and both are present on admission. The patient receives antibiotics for the pneumonia and a pacemaker during the stay, but undergoes no other procedures. Does the procedure automatically make ICD-9-CM code 427.31 for the atrial fibrillation the principal diagnosis?
New clinical guidelines for malnutrition could help alleviate compliance challenges associated with coding the condition, which has never had universally accepted clinical criteria. Jane White, James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, and Alice Zentner, RHIA, describe the new guidelines and what coders need to know about malnutrition coding.
QUESTION: A patient was exposed to shingles, for which a coder reported ICD-9-CM code V01.79 (exposure to other viral diseases, including HIV). This poses a problem for billing as code V01.79 is a confidential diagnosis, requiring special release of information from the patient and would remain on the insurance record. As an RN and certified coder, I believed code V01.71 (exposure to varicella) is the correct code because the varicella virus causes both chicken pox and shingles. However, I am being overridden by the chief business office. Which code is correct?
Choosing a principal diagnosis can be tricky for coders. Luckily, Gloryanne Bryant, BS, RHIA, RHIT, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, and Robert S. Gold, MD, help unravel the complexities of principal diagnosis selection.
Why do coders need to know about Value Based Purchasing, the Readmissions Reduction Program, and Hierarchical Condition Categories codes? Glenn Krauss, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPUR, C-CDI, CCDS, explains why it all comes back to coding accuracy and complete documentation.
Medical necessity denials traditionally focus on high-dollar MS-DRGs, such as those for hip and knee replacements; other MS-DRGs may also soon become targets, such as inpatient wound care, according to Nelly Leon-Chisen, RHIA, and Glenn Krauss, BBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPUR, PCS, FCS, C-CDIS, CCDS. Krauss and Leon-Chisen discuss coverage determinations, excisional vs. nonexcisional debridement, debridement of multiple layers, and more.
Inpatient hospitals will see CMS payment rates increase 2.3% in FY 2013 if the agency finalizes the change in the IPPS proposed rule released in April. CMS expects that in FY 2013, the documentation and coding adjustment will net an aggregate 0.2% increase. Other quality-of-care initiatives could reduce payments.