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.
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.
Q: I would like to add encephalopathy due to urinary tract infection to our quick coding tips, but our CDI specialists disagree on how this condition should be coded and want us to query for metabolic encephalopathy. How should this condition ultimately be reported?
Average hospital costs and mortality rates are significantly higher for patients diagnosed with sepsis after hospital admission when compared with patients diagnosed prior to admission, according to a retrospective analysis recently published in Critical Care Medicine.
It is evident with the complexity of this diagnosis (and the complexity of updated criteria) that even the most seasoned inpatient coder should review malnutrition coding guidelines and criteria frequently to ensure compliant reporting.
Even on a small scale, the implementation of an outpatient clinical documentation improvement (CDI) program can be overwhelming. Review advice from CDI specialists on developing successful outpatient CDI programs that facilitate accurate coding and billing.
Lori-Lynne A. Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC , reviews common CPT and ICD-10-CM coding and documentation errors, such as unbundling, inappropriate modifier usage, and missing information, to help coders reduce their risk from audits.
Findings show that pathologist involvement in the review and verification of CPT codes may reduce the need for code modifications at the time of sign-out auditing, according to the recent study published in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
The ICD-10-CM Manual was recently updated with new codes for peritonitis in association with acute appendicitis and the CPT Manual now includes new codes for gastrostomy tube replacements. Familiarize yourself with these changes to ensure accurate reporting of digestive diagnoses and treatments. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
The brain is the most complex component of the central nervous system, consisting of approximately 100 billion neurons that communicate via an exponentially larger number of synapses. Individual areas of the brain have specialized functions that work in conjunction and regulate voluntary and involuntary body functions.
Q: A physician documented that a pregnant patient is obese, and the patient’s chart has a listed body mass index (BMI) score. Can we assign an ICD-10-CM BMI code in this instance or should this never be done for an obstetrics patient?
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.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has been conducting a series of studies about adverse events in various healthcare settings since 2008 and will be publishing more of its corresponding reports throughout 2019, the OIG said in a statement.
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.
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.
A preliminary study found that a new point-of-care troponin assay safely ruled out acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a large proportion of patients with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome, according to the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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.
Q: Considering the fiscal year 2019 update to the ICD-10-PCS Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting for Transfer procedures, how should we now report a pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap procedure in ICD-10-PCS?
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.
A variety of therapeutic services can be used to treat patients suffering from debilitating mental health conditions. Clear up confusion surrounding CPT coding for these initial office visits, psychiatric diagnostic evaluations, and psychotherapy visits. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
Findings from a retrospective cohort study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine suggest that, on average, EDs may report higher-level E/M services for incarcerated individuals when compared to the general population.
Reporting and billing hospital observation services can be confusing, particularly when the observation stay lasts more than one day. Lori-Lynne A. Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC , writes about CPT coding for observation services based on time and the key components of the history, exam, and medical decision making of a patient.
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.
CMS and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) claims to have identified unspecified upcoding in hospital billing—either accidentally or intentionally reporting higher severity codes than supported by documentation to increase payment. Because of this, these entities will conduct a two-part study to assess inpatient hospital billing, according to the OIG.
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.
The AMA updated the cardiovascular section of the 2019 CPT Manual to reflect advances in surgical treatment for cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure and aortic stenosis. Read about new and revised codes for the implantation and removal of leadless pacemakers, cardiac rhythm monitors, and other surgical devices commonly used to treat chronic heart conditions. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
CMS recently released the 2019 NCCI Policy Manual for Medicare Services , which includes updates to payment policies and coding methodologies effective January 1, 2019. The changes impact billing and reporting for spinal arthrodesis procedures and laboratory services.
The 2019 CPT code update will impact reporting for dermatologic biopsies. Shelley C. Safian, PhD, RHIA, HCISPP, CCS-P, COC, CPC-I , reviews updated reporting guidance and CPT codes for these common types of biopsies.
CMS hit the brakes on making imminent changes to the oft-used E/M code set that’s tied to billions of dollars in medical practice revenue. Review updates to E/M payment and documentation requirements effective January 1 and the extensive changes planned for implementation in 2021 under the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule.
Despite facing potential lawsuits and political opposition, CMS finalized some of its most controversial proposals in the 2019 OPPS final rule by implementing several site-neutral payment policies and 340B drug payment reductions.
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.
Among patients ages 65 years and older, the rate of opioid-related hospitalizations increased more than the rate of nonopioid-related hospitalizations between 2010 and 2015, according to the recent statistical brief published by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.
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.
It’s true that most CDI specialists are not coders, and coding a record isn’t our specific focus. To complete our given mission, however, we must understand the process and the guidance related to code assignment. The focus of provider education is to assist in translating “coder speak” to “medical speak” and vice versa.
Findings from an Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit show that Novitas Solutions Inc. overpaid hospitals for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) services provided to nearly all sampled Medicare beneficiaries over a 30-month period, resulting in overpayments of at least $7.2 million.
Beginning in 2018, total knee arthroplasty (TKA) was removed from the Inpatient Only List and assigned a comprehensive APC payment. Outpatient coders need to ensure they are assigning the correct CPT codes for TKA to reduce their hospital’s risk of audits.
It's been more than three years since CMS introduced a subset of modifiers it wants providers to report instead of modifier -59 (distinct procedural service), but they're still optional as barely any new guidance has been released.
Outpatient procedures involving anesthesia should be reported using five-digit CPT codes as well as applicable hospital modifiers. Review types of anesthesia administration and documentation elements required for accurate code assignment. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
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.
A new risk model provides a simple way to determine whether acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients are at a high risk for hospital readmissions, says a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
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.
Coders must have a solid understanding of complex terminology and CPT and ICD-10-CM coding guidelines to select the most specific codes for traumatic fractures and their treatments. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
CMS recently released both the calendar year (CY) 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and OPPS final rules last week, revising the payment structure for E/M office visits and expanding payment reductions for drugs purchased under the 340B discount pricing program by nonexcepted, off-campus, provider-based departments.
The CMS risk adjustment model uses Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) to calculate risk scores based on ICD-10 diagnoses. Review HCC coding do’s and don’ts to help your facility manage risk effectively, enhance shared savings, and provide patient-centered care.
This month we are pleased to introduce Deborah Clinard, CPC, who has 12 years of experience as a coder and who currently works as a practice manager at Women’s and Children’s Specialists, LLC in Nashville, Tennessee.
The death of one twin in utero complicates oversight of a multifetal pregnancy. Lori-Lynne A. Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC , reviews symptoms of vanishing twin syndrome and ICD-10-CM coding for continuing pregnancy after intrauterine death .
Q: A lung cancer patient presents to the infusion clinic to receive chemotherapy treatments. The patient receives a Carboplatin infusion, a Gezmar infusion, and an Anzemet intravenous push. Which CPT codes would be used to report these services?
Remittance processing and appeals are integral parts of the revenue cycle. When facilities submit a claim to Medicare, the hope is that the claim will be paid in full and in a timely manner, but that does not always happen.
Coding and documentation teams can replicate an organization’s overall denial avoidance and management program by scaling it to the scope of denials for which they are responsible. Lynette Kramer, MA, RHIA , outlines a four-step process that coding teams can use to monitor claim data and establish accountability for denials.
According to the National Center for Chronic Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion, an estimated 5.7 million adults throughout the U.S. have heart failure. Shelley C. Safian, PhD, RHIA, CCS-P, COC, CPC-I, writes about ICD-10-CM coding for heart failure diagnoses and CPT coding for procedures used to treat the disease.
The FY 2019 ICD-10-CM update includes 54 code additions, three deletions, and 87 revisions to Chapter 19 of the ICD-10-CM Manual , “Injuries, Poisonings, and Certain Other Consequences of External Causes.” Review updated codes and guidelines for reporting burns, infections and sepsis following a procedure, drug abuse, and human trafficking. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
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.
Q: We have a patient admitted with a history of chronic heart failure (CHF) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who was admitted with volume overload due to acute kidney injury and dialysis noncompliance. How should we report this in ICD-10-CM?
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.
Patients determined to have a tubo-ovarian abscess (TOA) require immediate and aggressive surgical therapy. Lori-Lynne A. Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC , reviews clinical documentation and ICD-10-CM coding for TOAs as well as CPT coding for surgical interventions used to treat them.
Before radiation therapy can be administered, several steps must be taken prepare the patient for treatment. Review CPT coding and documentation for the first two steps in the process: the initial consultation and preparation for radiation treatment. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
A retrospective study recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery found that 59% of reviewed cases across four institutions contained discrepancies between operative dictation and CPT coding for pediatric abdominal surgeries.
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.
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.
Q: We recently had a patient admitted for syncope workup. The workups were negative except for incidental findings of acute kidney injury (AKI). The physician documented “AKI likely 2/2 hypovolemia. Treatment focus is to trend creatinine levels and hydration.” Would the AKI or hypovolemia be sequenced as the principal diagnosis?