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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
In January, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine released the 2016 Surviving Sepsis guidelines, adopting the new consensus definitions for sepsis and septic shock (Sepsis-3) established last year.
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.
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.