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.
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.
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.
Q: Can you please help me determine the query opportunities and code assignment/sequencing argument related to a patient who was admitted with pneumonia, congestive heart failure, acute respiratory failure, and encephalopathy?
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.
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.
On March 8, CMS released eight frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON). The FAQs reinforce that psychiatric hospitals must comply with the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act and MOON.
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.
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.
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.
A study conducted by Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) based on data obtained from the 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database, revealed that sepsis accounts for a higher rate of unplanned readmissions than the other studied medical conditions.
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.
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?
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.