Richard Pinson, MD, FACP, CCS, and Cynthia Tang, RHIA, CCS, review the recently published “Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) Criteria for the Diagnosis of Malnutrition: A Consensus Report From the Global Clinical Nutrition Community” and help coders apply this criteria in ICD-10-CM.
As the task of query creation is becoming more prevalent in coding departments, reviewing essential query requirements is a must for all inpatient coders. This article covers these essential requirements including the growing adoption of electronic medical records, when to query, and pointers for submitting queries to physicians. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Sarah Humbert, RHIA, and Catrena Smith, CCS, CCS-P, CPCO, CPC, CIC, CPC-I, CRC, CHTS-PW, explore three scenarios for onboarding new inpatient coders and provide valuable advice to prepare them for success.
Data in CDI reports should demonstrate the depth of work performed as well as productivity elements. I want to share my experience of personalizing data fields in our CDI software to fully demonstrate our CDI team’s impact beyond moving the MS-DRG.
For patients who suffer from frequent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the provider may have to increase to prescription strength medications and possibly consider surgical intervention for severe cases. In this article, Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC, CRC, CCDS, HCS-D, reviews ICD-10-CM/PCS coding for these GERD diagnoses and procedures. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Trey La Charité, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCS, CCDS, writes that by reviewing common electronic health record (EHR) challenges, a CDI program can formulate appropriate mitigation strategies to minimize potential negatives of the system.
When pneumonia documentation is questioned, CDI specialists or coders should always query the provider. But reviewing the following clinical elements involving aspiration and pneumonias with your physician staff may help improve the documentation of complex pneumonias and avoid adverse determinations by external reviewers.
Crystal R. Stalter, CPC, CCS-P, CDIP, says that there is still confusion around documenting patient stays to show quality, especially in the inpatient realm. Is it really as simple as documenting conditions to their fullest specificity or does it involve a more complex approach?
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP, writes that understanding spinal anatomy, the reporting of detailed spinal diagnoses, and the selection of applicable procedure codes can ensure that these complicated claims are reimbursed correctly and in compliance with coding guidelines. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Like it or not, provider documentation is the foundation for everything done in medicine. Without it, nothing is accomplished. As healthcare reform progresses (and hospital reimbursement shrinks), the need for excellent provider documentation only increases.
Cheryl Manchenton, RN, BSN, CCDS , details the recent updates to patient safety indicator (PSI) 90 and says that these changes are the reason why it’s more important than ever to ensure that PSI metrics are complete and accurate.
Chris Simons, MS, RHIA , outlines tasks that generally fall within the CDI department’s realm and writes that to ensure that inpatient CDI specialists can thoroughly complete these tasks, they must have strong clinical skills and a working knowledge of ICD-10-CM and MS-DRG assignment. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Creating a query and knowing when to query can be complicated, and there are a number of continued training tactics that prove successful for the coder when trying to improve upon physician query practices. This article looks at a few of the official sources that offer query guidance for coders. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Cesar M. Limjoco, MD, writes that although different literature has become available on principal diagnosis selection through the years, questions and disputes keep popping up. In this article, he revisits the issue and provides additional insight to code selection for conditions such as acute respiratory failure and congestive heart failure.
Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS, reviews Coding Clinic guidance published in the first and second quarters of this year as it pertains to coding guidelines, severity of illness, and MS-DRG assignment for the inpatient setting.
The verdict is in. CMS’ fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS final rule took effect on October 1 and impacts 3,300 hospitals. CMS made changes to several of its inpatient quality programs: Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, and Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, in addition to the changes made to ICD-10 CM/PCS codes.
The official version of the fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS final rule was recently published in the Federal Register . This rule, which became effective on the first of October, contains key financial information, including certain payment factors, based upon the government’s best estimate at the time of publication.
CMS recently released the fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS final rule with significant reductions to reporting requirements for quality initiatives, changes to CC/MCC designations, and revisions to various MS-DRGs.
Allen Frady, RN-BSN, CCDS, CCS, CRC, says that defending code assignment against denials requires more than reviewing the denial to determine if the condition was coded and reported according to the coding guidelines; it requires an understanding of payer requirements as well.
Inpatient coding audits need to be tailored to the type of record being reviewed, the time it may take to complete the audit, and any compliance-related issues that may crop up. This article focuses on how coding managers can streamline these aspects to ensure a successful audit. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS , writes that abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are the most common type of aortic aneurysm, and the complexities surrounding AAAs make reporting procedures related to them difficult for even the most skilled inpatient coder.
The fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS final rule contains extensive changes pertaining to MS-DRGs. This article details some of the most notable MS-DRG updates including revisions to epilepsy with neurostimulators and pacemaker insertion classifications. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Cathy Farraher, RN, BSN, MBA, CCCM, CCDS , details the basics of the All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (APR-DRG), the system developed to allow for a more specific analysis of outcomes in the non-Medicare population, and shows coders and CDI teams how to better capture quality metrics through documentation.
Cancer is so prevalent that it is virtually impossible to find anyone who hasn’t personally been affected by or known someone who has this disease. According to the American Cancer Society , in 2017, there were an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the United States.
Summer has ended. For some, that marks the start of school, the beginning of football season, and the return of the pumpkin spice latte. If you are an inpatient coder or CDI specialist, it marks two full quarters worth of Coding Clinic advice.
Risk is the new buzzword in healthcare, right up there with denial. In fact, CDI programs often deploy physician advisors to assist with shared risk payment models, denial prevention, and improved outcome performance.
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP , provides background on vaccinations and writes that coding for vaccine administration isn’t relegated to the outpatient coder; inpatient coders also have codes to report for vaccine administration. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Jennifer Cayce, RHIT, CCS, CCS-P, CPC , explores the conundrums of reporting acute kidney disorders due to confusing clinical terminology and addresses some of the problematic areas of nephrology diagnoses.
Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS, says that knowledge of coding guidelines and Coding Clinic advice, as well as an understanding of the spine anatomy and the spinal fusion procedure itself, can go a long way toward helping put together the pieces of the fusion puzzle.
Chris Simons, MS, RHIA, details way to improve querying across health information management (HIM), coding, and CDI departments since querying providers is a key strategy for improving documentation. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Numerous Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies (BCCS) advisory board members will be presenting at the 2018 AHIMA Convention and Exhibit in Miami, Florida, from September 22–26. The advisory board members will cover topics including ICD-10-PCS accuracy basics, surgical complications, and HIM leadership.
As with many diagnoses in the inpatient setting, acute kidney disorders can be confusing for coders to report due to multiple abbreviations and varying clinical criteria. Although the ICD-10-CM codes for the genitourinary system may seem straightforward, they don’t always line up precisely with the provider’s documentation in the medical record.
As I sit down to summarize the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2019 ICD-10-CM update, the number of changes proposed are significantly less than the prior two years. This makes me think we’re getting back to the norm of expected yearly changes.
Amy Sanderson, MD, says that the term “dysphagia” has many synonyms used by providers in medical documentation. However, not all of these symptoms are able to describe the diagnosis with enough specificity so that it can be translated into its corresponding code assignment.
Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS, summarizes the proposed changes found in the fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS proposed rule, broken down by Major Diagnostic Category (MDC), that would impact ICD-10-CM/PCS codes. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
William E. Haik, MD, FCCP, CDIP , AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, Jonathan Besler, CPA, MA , and Mary Devine, RN , write that while it is well-known that ICD-10-CM/PCS code assignment impacts hospital reimbursement and compliance, there is an additional code that often flies under the radar for inpatient coders and has a huge impact on reimbursement: the discharge status code.
Emergency departments (ED) at designated trauma centers encounter some of the most complex patients—and with them, a complicated documentation web that’s difficult for even the most experienced CDI specialists and coders to untangle.
Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said the only constant is change. With the release of the fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS proposed rule , and all of the changes it contains, CMS has certainly proven Heraclitus correct. The rule applies to 3,257 acute care hospitals, and once finalized, will affect discharges on or after October 1.
Rose T. Dunn, MBA, RHIA, CPA/CGMA, FACHE, FHFMA, CHPS , writes that beyond auditing for code assignment, coding reviews also provide an opportunity for you to conduct a thorough compliance evaluation that not only addresses other components of the coding process but also the integrity of the patient’s record. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
In many cases, knowing when to query is simple, but the more challenging cases contain clues that require additional interpretation. Drew Siegel, MD, CCDS, takes a look at a few of the more interesting and often undocumented diagnoses, including respiratory failure and acute kidney injury, and points out the diagnostic clues to form a compliant query.
In inpatient coding, all diagnoses that affect the current hospital stay must be reported. In addition, the Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set is commonly followed for reporting secondary diagnoses; it says that other (or additional) diagnoses are defined as "all conditions that coexist at the time of admission, that develop subsequently, or that affect the treatment received and/or length of stay."
James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS , writes that ICD-10-CM/PCS documentation and coding rules surrounding patient safety indicators (PSI) must be honored in order to ensure proper compliance and reimbursement.
Just like their inpatient acute care counterparts, inpatient psychiatric facilities use ICD-10-CM codes, but their payment structure, documentation requirements, prevalent clinical conditions, and additional documentation requirements needing capture are vastly different.
According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 100,000 Americans have sickle-cell disease. In this article, Peggy Blue, MPH, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC , breaks down the complexities of the disease and clarifies reporting of the diagnosis. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
A common question that coders often ask is when to report a secondary diagnosis. In part two of this two-part series, Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCDS , looks at the chapter-specific coding guidelines related to secondary diagnosis coding found in the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting.
Nearly one-third of the world’s population is overweight or obese, including an estimated 160 million Americans, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation . These statistics are alarming, especially considering that obesity is linked to many other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Inpatient coding audits are performed for different purposes by individuals within and outside of the hospital. Coding audits can be categorized in various ways as shown below, but these attributes are not exclusive: Audits will have several characteristics at a time.
Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC, CRD, CCDS, writes that while the fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS proposed rule is considering the downgrade of ICD-10-CM code B20 (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] disease) from an MCC to a CC, it does not mean that diagnosing and coding for HIV has lessened in complexity.
A common question that coders often ask is when to report a secondary diagnosis. In part one of this two-part series, Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCDS , looks at the general coding guidelines related to secondary diagnosis coding found in the 2018 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting.
It is well known that ICD-10-CM/PCS code assignment impacts hospital reimbursement and compliance; however, there is an additional code that often flies under the radar for inpatient coders—the discharge status code. Inaccurate discharge status code assignment for Medicare post-acute care transfers (PACT) can lead to under reimbursement and compliance risks for hospitals.
The thyroid gland, included in the endocrine system, is a small gland located at the base of the neck. Although small when compared to the other components of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland plays a significant role in overall body function, influencing the performance of the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin.
A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, and Asperger’s syndrome. Peggy Blue, MPH, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC , reviews these terms to aid accurate coding. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, writes that the various approaches hospital systems use to optimize their DRG-based case-mix index or HCC-based risk adjustment factor scores will likely conflict with how an accountability agent will see those measurements.
Allen Frady, RN-BSN, CCDS, CCS, CRC, writes about guidance related to documenting acute respiratory insufficiency and gives tips to coders and CDI teams on what to do when the conditions are over-documented postoperatively.
James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CCDS, CDIP, writes that clinical validity, documentation, and ICD-10-CM coding applicable to liver disease remains a great challenge to those invested in severity and risk-adjustment coding compliance. In this article, he reviews several pitfalls that could await facilities.
Danielle Richmond says that while inpatient coder shortages are nowhere near what they were with ICD-9-CM, new challenges have emerged. This article shares important advice for any managers trying to improve their coder recruitment and hiring process.
Coders often seek definitions for realistic productivity benchmarks, and standards depend on how a given facility establishes the responsibilities and expectations of its team. Therefore, before assessing a coder’s success, a facility must set goals that define that success. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Laurie L. Prescott, RN, MSN, CCDS, CDIP, CRC, writes that even though CDI specialists are not coders, it’s important to learn the rules and guidelines that coders follow. CDI teams need to reference guidance and guidelines in their daily work to ensure documentation is clear, concise, and supportive of accurate code assignment true to the patient’s story.
Laura Legg RHIT, CCS, CDIP, looks at the results of Central Learning’s second annual ICD-10 Coding Contest and highlights ways facilities can use the data to improve coding performance and accuracy. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
In 2015, I wrote 44 appeal letters challenging DRG validation/coding denials. In 2016, I wrote 88 appeal letters. Last year, I penned 159. We already received more than 40 DRG validation denials in January of this year. Does this trend sound familiar?
The fiscal year (FY) 2018 ICD-10-CM changes have now been active for several months. Though the volume of new codes is relatively small compared to previous updates, the impact on reimbursement has the potential to be quite large.
The implementation of an EHR is a multifaceted, comprehensive project for healthcare organizations. Though it affects every department and function in some way, the impact on medical record coding may be the most profound and complicated, with some organizations reporting a 20% decrease in coding productivity after EHR implementation.
Traditionally, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Work Plan is released annually with focus areas identified for the upcoming year. However, as of June 2017, the decision was made to update the plan on a monthly basis to promote transparency by demonstrating a continuous effort to ensure compliance.
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States and one of the leading causes of chronic pain and disability, according to the National Institutes of Health. In this article, Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC, CRC, CCDS, examines ICD-10-CM/PCS coding and associated guidance for this condition. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Paul Evans, RHIA, CCDS, CCS, CCS-P, tackles the various characteristics of creating a query and says that while all portions of any program, such as education and metrics, are important, the proper formulation of a query represents the most important task for a CDI professional.
James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS , reviews readmission rates and writes that if physicians learn the foundations of readmission measurement and implement some basic principles and workflows for reporting clinically accurate ICD-10-CM/PCS coding, hospitals can succeed with readmission measures.
Medical necessity denials are commonly encountered in facilities. Complete understanding and utilization of the ICD-10-CM/PCS coding guidelines is imperative for coders and coding mangers to recognize how to avoid these denials. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CCDS, CDIP, writes about potential coding compliance issues raised in the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Work Plan for providers to consider, including documentation and coding for severe malnutrition and bariatric surgery.
Did you know there is a coding competition? The second annual ICD-10 Coding Contest, sponsored by Central Learning, took place last summer, recruiting coders from all over the nation to participate in coding a total of 1,636 real-life medical cases.
As clinicians and coders invested in ICD-10-CM/PCS documentation and coding compliance, we’ve seen it all as it relates to the various approaches different hospital systems use to “optimize” or “maximize” their DRG-based case-mix index (CMI) or risk adjustment factor (RAF) scores based on Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC).
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017 there were an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the U.S. In this article, Peggy Blue, MPH, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC , breaks down the usage of the ICD-10-CM neoplasm table and reviews coding for neoplasm admissions. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.