Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS , writes about how to accurately capture and report social determinants of health to improve patient outcomes and decrease costs. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Keeping up with commercial payer requirements can stump any revenue integrity department, and commercial payer audits can be an especially tough puzzle to solve. Review advice from experts on improving internal processes for dealing with commercial audits.
PTSD is marked by persistent mental and emotional stress that occurs as a result of severe psychological shock. Peggy S. Blue, MPH, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC , reviews symptoms of and ICD-10-CM coding for PTSD, as well as barriers to psychosocial treatment for the condition.
The fiscal year 2020 IPPS proposed rule includes nearly 1,500 CC/MCC designation changes, which impact MS-DRG groupings used to calculate pricing for inpatient hospital claims. Rhonda Butler, CCS, CCS-P , reviews noteworthy proposed changes to MS-DRG assignment for the coming fiscal year. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Treatment options for spinal conditions are varied and may include pain management with medications, injections, or surgical interventions. Adrienne Commeree , CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP , breaks down spinal anatomy and ICD-10-PCS coding for spinal fusions and laminectomy procedures.
Correct documentation and coding are key to accurate reimbursement, but according to the Office of Inspector General, organizations aren’t hitting the mark on either when billing for inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) services.
Patients who use oxygen at home for a primary respiratory condition typically present with some degree of respiratory failure. Howard Rodenberg, MD, MPH, CCDS , describes common documentation issues related to oxygen requirements for the diagnosis of acute respiratory failure.
Diagnosis coding for neoplasms can be particularly challenging, as neoplasms are classified by site, behavior, and morphology. Review ICD-10-CM coding and guidelines for reporting solid organ tumors and cancers affecting the bone marrow and lymphatic system. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP, writes that accurate ICD-10-CM/PCS coding for the heart improves data quality, which in turn is used for statistics and tracking trends, so it is imperative to ensure the disease process is captured correctly.
Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCDS, presents a review of MS-DRG basics to ensure that inpatient coders have a thorough understanding of MS-DRGs’ intricacies, thus perfecting assignment and reimbursement accuracy.
At the beginnings of inpatient coding and CDI, we had books like DRG Expert and Excel-based programs for MS-DRG selections. More than 10 years later, vendors are offering web-based technologies that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to make us even more productive in both coding and CDI. The real question, however, is how we can best leverage those technologies.
Valerie Rinkle, MPA, CHRI, covers important proposals found in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 IPPS proposed rule, including coding updates, new technology payment changes, and increases to low wage index hospitals.
Peggy Blue, MPH, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC , writes that due to the frequency of diagnoses and treatments for breast cancer, it’s more important than ever for inpatient coders to make sure they are reporting these diagnoses and procedures with the utmost accuracy. 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, reviews recent Coding Clinic, First Quarter 2019, advice, which includes guidance on reporting abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repairs, spinal fusions, Whipple procedures, midline and central venous catheters, and more.
Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS, writes that treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is variable and includes both medical and surgical therapy. Given the frequency of this condition, it is imperative that inpatient coding professionals have a clear understanding of the surgical treatment of PAD to avoid costly ICD-10-PCS errors. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Although computer-assisted coding and natural language processing software has improved many aspects of daily CDI work, the technology requires ongoing oversight to ensure efficacy and accuracy. Therefore, CDI professionals, and even inpatient coders, need to be aware of the software’s potential pitfalls within the CDI department and develop tactics to overcome them.
Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCDS , reviews the background of MS-DRGs, as frequently revising MS-DRG basics will ensure that inpatient coders have a thorough understanding of the MS-DRG intricacies, thus perfecting overall assignment and reimbursement accuracy.
The beginning of the year is a time to go back to basics—or even, in some cases, to start over. Revisiting information on how to conduct a medical record review may, at first glance, feel like a basic or beginner topic. But medical record review is an important subject for all CDI professionals, and even coders, to consider.
Keeping up with changing coding guidance adds to the complexity of reporting digestive procedures. In this article, Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP , reviews ICD-10-PCS reporting for common digestive procedures including the Whipple procedure and lysis of adhesions. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Kay Piper, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, details the process of submitting ICD-10-CM codes to the ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting by sharing the experience a medical coding educator and a CDI physician adviser had when submitting a proposal for the March 2018 meeting.
Karen, a 67-year-old patient with a history of hypertension, diabetes, and tobacco use, presents to her primary care physician with complaints of pain in her right buttock and thigh when she walks from her house to her mailbox. She is then admitted as an inpatient for surgery.
A transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is an interventional cardiology procedure that has proven to be an important life-saving cardiac intervention frequently seen by inpatient coders. In this article, Stephen Houlahan, RN, MSN, MBA, CCDS, reviews TAVR history, clinical background, and documentation and reimbursement methodologies to ensure proper education and compliance for facilities.
Cheryl Manchenton, RN, explains CMS’ Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) and says inpatient coding professionals can play a significant role in HACRP success by understanding the basis for hospital-acquired condition scores and ensuring that documentation and coding accurately and fully captures patient conditions and complications.
Coders often wonder how to define realistic productivity benchmarks. Different facilities establish the responsibilities and expectations of their coding teams, so productivity standards are not uniform.Coders often wonder how to define realistic productivity benchmarks. Different facilities establish the responsibilities and expectations of their coding teams, so productivity standards are not uniform.
With March declared National Endometriosis Awareness Month, Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC, CRC, CCDS, HCS-D, details endometriosis-related procedure reporting for inpatient coders. 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, reviews the clinical validation of acute congestive heart failure (CHF) exacerbation and shares his hospital’s coding and documentation strategy to help in appeal battles.
Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS, details the updates found in the 2019 ACDIS/AHIMA “Guidelines for Achieving a Compliant Query Practice” and writes that thorough knowledge of query guidelines is essential for inpatient coders and staying abreast of these guideline updates is crucial.
The benefits outweigh the difficulties when it comes to retrospective reviews. How do you get started with this new venture? Like many aspects of CDI, there are many ways to approach the problem. This article details these approaches, including how to enhance coder and CDI collaboration for these reviews.
Laurie L. Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP , details the basics of ICD-10-CM/PCS for newer inpatient coders including a review of the ICD-10-CM seventh-character extension, placeholder use, and ICD-10-PCS root operations. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Not many clinical conditions cause more consternation for inpatient coders and CDI specialists than acute and chronic respiratory failure. In this article, William E. Haik, MD, FCCP, CDIP, details acute and chronic respiratory failure and the critical elements in the health record that validate their reporting.
If we look at each element of a coding audit, we can see the benefits these coding reviews provide. Every healthcare organization and hospital should invest in routine, internal coding audits. The alternative is waiting until the payer conducts an audit, denies a claim, and incurs costs for the organization.
Consider the story of a patient—say, a pneumonia patient—whose treatment cost a lot of money. The hospital’s reimbursement for that care, however, was less than the cost of providing it. Now say someone looked at that case and how complex it was, and then saw that the reimbursement only paid for half the cost of caring for that patient. That’s how CDI was born.
As an inherited blood disorder, sickle cell disease is passed from parent to child. Children with sickle cell disease often have two defective hemoglobin S genes , one from each parent. However, various forms of sickle cell disorder also occur when a person inherits one hemoglobin S gene (sickle cell gene) from one parent and a different type (other than the S type) of defective hemoglobin gene from the other parent. All of these forms have distinct ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes, making reporting complex.
In 2013 the “ Guidelines for Achieving a Compliant Query Practice ,” a collaboration between AHIMA and ACDIS, was published. It has served as the industry guideline for the establishment of best practices surrounding queries. Since that time this brief has been updated twice: once in 2016 and most recently in 2019 .
Joe Rivet, JD, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC, CHC, CCEP, CHRC, CHPC, CICA, CPMA, CAC, CACO, explains that reporting sepsis has long been a challenge for many coders even with the continual release of Coding Clinics and guideline revisions. In this article, Rivet reviews common coding traps for this condition including reporting urosepsis, severe sepsis, and sepsis on admission.
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP, reviews ICD-10-CM/PCS cardiac coding for American Heart Month and writes that since accurate coding improves data quality for these conditions, which in turn is used for statistics and tracking trends, ensuring the disease process is captured correctly is imperative. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
CDI professionals can improve documentation and data scores via a mortality review process. This article discusses the various types of mortality reviews and publicly reported data and gives tips on how to implement a successful mortality review process.
Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CEMC, CRC, CCDS, HCS-D, reviews Coding Clinic , Fourth Quarter 2018, advice surrounding body mass index reporting and how new advice conflicts with previous guidance. McCall also reviews payment methodologies and the official guideline updates for this condition. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Julian Everett, BSN, RN, CDIP, details her experience reviewing pediatric mortality cases for the first time and gives tips on how the different revenue cycle departments can work together to improve their processes and outcomes.
Denise Wilson, RN, MS, RRT, and Karla Hiravi, RN, BSN, explore why coding and clinical denials for acute kidney injury (AKI) and acute tubular necrosis (ATN) are different and the importance of different appeal strategies.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with symptoms that include problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and its symptoms is important to coders, as some of the entries in the ICD-10-CM Alphabetic Index can be confusing.
Training new inpatient coders and CDI staff is a big job that often takes several months to conclude, but the end of orientation doesn’t mean that staff members never have to undergo education ever again. As most are keenly aware, the ground is always moving under our feet. From new regulations, to coding guideline changes, to new clinical definitions, education never truly ends.
Rules governing code assignment often don’t make sense to those coming from the clinical side, such as CDI. In truth, they often confound professionals with years of inpatient coding experience, too. And most CDI and coding professionals have a list of frustrations when it comes to translating clinical documentation into ICD-10 codes.
This article reviews HCPro’s 2018 coding productivity survey and reviews data on factors that have affected coder productivity, remote coders, and collaboration between coders and CDI specialists, including charts coded per hour and coding accuracy standards.
The mechanics of the concurrent coding process can cause headaches for both CDI and coding professionals. Plus, one could argue that CDI’s presence itself limits the number of necessary post-discharge clarifications without the process of concurrent inpatient coding. This article reviews ways that CDI programs can get involved with this process and work collaboratively with coders.
Adriane Martin, DO, FACOS, CCDS, reviews Coding Clinic’s Third and Fourth Quarter 2018 advice including reporting for coronary artery bypass grafting, drainage of an abscess in the submandibular space, and diabetes. 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 with the complexity of malnutrition—and the complexity of updated criteria—even the most seasoned inpatient coder should review ICD-10-CM malnutrition coding guidelines and criteria frequently to ensure compliant reporting.
Assigning the appropriate ICD-10-PCS code for spinal procedures can be a challenge for inpatient coders as they need to correctly identify each character of the seven-character code. In this article, Nena Scott, MSEd, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CCDS , offers coding tips for reporting spinal surgery cases in ICD-10-PCS and examines the correct use of each character. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
CMS recently made several updates in its latest version of its Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) list, including revisions to the mental health and chronic kidney disease categories. And, while HCCs may not be a common review focus for inpatient coders and CDI professionals, capturing HCCs for these conditions is paramount for accurate reporting and reimbursement.
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP , writes that while reporting mental illness is on the radar for outpatient coders, inpatient coders should be up to date with these diagnoses as well. Capturing this data in the inpatient setting not only substantiates reimbursement, it is also used to identify national trends for tracking and understanding these serious conditions. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Sepsis has been notoriously hard to report in ICD-10-CM, which means coders should not only fully understand coding guidance and guidelines for sepsis, but they should also have a thorough knowledge of its clinical aspects as well. Cesar M. Limjoco, MD , breaks down these clinical aspects and sheds light on the various sepsis definitions coders have encountered over the years.
The original DRG system aimed to categorize similar patients with theoretically similar treatments and charges based on the patient’s principal diagnosis and up to eight secondary diagnoses. As time has gone by this system has expanded and become more complicated, making it essential for inpatient coders to understand to ensure accurate reporting and facility reimbursement.
Hospitals should get their compliance strategies in top shape before the end of the year. CMS released the fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS final rule with significant reductions to reporting requirements for quality initiatives, updates to payment rates, changes to CC/MCC designations, and revisions to various MS-DRGs. CMS also finalized the requirement for hospitals to post their chargemaster online, effective January 1, 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.