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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Emergency departments at designated trauma centers encounter some of the most complex patients—and with them, a complicated documentation web that’s difficult to untangle, making trauma case review essential for hospitals.
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.
Because Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) and similar risk-adjustment methodologies impact physician and hospital practices, James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS , reviews CMS’ Risk-Adjustment Data Validators (RADV) instructions to improve HCC compliance.
Outsourced coding audits for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS code sets are a common practice in inpatient facilities, and from national healthcare systems to physician practices, outside coding experts are engaged to audit coding accuracy, quality, and performance.
In November 2017, HCPro asked healthcare professionals about ICD-10 coding productivity. Based on respondent feedback, respondents were asked to report productivity based on records per hour or records per day. In previous years, respondents were asked to report productivity based only on records per hour.
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP, writes that since there is such a prevalence for obesity in our nation, it’s a no brainer that correctly assigning and fully understanding the ICD-10-CM/PCS codes for obesity-related conditions is imperative for coders in any facility.
Creating a query and knowing when to query can be complicated, and there are a number of training tactics that can prove successful for coders when trying to improve upon physician query practices. For this article, let’s take a look at when coders should query and when it’s appropriate for them to cite clinical evidence. 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, reviews some ICD fundamentals and to help facilities develop a strategy that will ease the transition to the new administrative language as the federal government moves toward deployment of the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Edition, for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics (ICD-11-MMS).
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a commonly diagnosed condition where the ventricles or the lower chambers of the heart do not work effectively. The heart serves as a pump to get blood in and then out of the heart to circulate to the rest of the body. When any type of pump doesn’t work efficiently, backups can occur.
With yearly ICD-10 code and guideline updates to the respiratory system, it’s important for coders to stay abreast of changes to ensure documentation and coding integrity. This article takes a closer look at the ICD-10-CM code updates as well as recent Coding Clinic guidance on the respiratory system. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Surprisingly, thyroid disease is more common than diabetes or heart disease, with an estimated 20 million Americans having some form of the disease. In this article, Yvette M. DeVay, MHA, CPC, CPMA, CIC, CPC-I gives readers a background on thyroid cancer and reviews ICD-10-CM/PCS coding for the disease.
In perusing the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Work Plan , there are many clinical issues that we in ICD-10-CM/PCS coding compliance must address.
Victoria M. Hernandez, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P , AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, and Debi Primeau, RHIA, FAHIMA , highlight several areas that illustrate the increasing importance of code specificity to ensure accurate reporting and appropriate reimbursement.
While a facility’s case–mix index is an important metric to measure, program managers and directors warn that metrics mean different things to different stakeholders and that CDI programs need to work diligently to present their data within the context of a host of other important measures.
Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC, CRC, CCDS, writes about the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) recent audit findings regarding the ICD-9-CM diagnosis code for kwashiorkor, and discusses what coders can do to stay compliant when coding guidance is lacking. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Hospitals are seeing a growing number of staff move off-site. Remote inpatient coders are common and might work from home several days a week. The shift is fueled in part by EHRs: As paper records disappear, it’s less necessary to have staff in nonclinical positions on-site. And, for many hospitals, space is at a premium.
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP , writes that understanding the epidemiology of HIV, its manifestations, and its stages are important when reviewing the medical record for ICD-10-CM coding, and interpreting provider documentation and understanding the coding guidelines are of the upmost importance for proper sequencing.
Jocelyn E. Murray, RN, CCDS, reviews the similarities and differences between CDI audits and coding compliance audits and says it’s our collective responsibility to provide the insight that defines the two specialties and the critical efforts both bring to the table.
James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CCDS, CDIP, interprets the various guidance given in Coding Clinic , Fourth Quarter 2017, including pre-bill audits and denials based on clinical criteria, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with exacerbated asthma.
Creating a 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 takes a look at how improving a coder’s knowledge of principal and secondary diagnosis selection can produce a more effective physician query. Note: To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.