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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
Q: Our team is having a hard time determining a principal diagnosis for a patient with a history of stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) who is receiving chronic hemodialysis and is in acute renal failure (ARF) with volume overload. Which ICD-10-CM code should be the principal diagnosis?
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.
William E. Haik, MD, FCCP, CDIP, writes that complex pneumonias can segregate to a higher-weighted MS-DRG than other pneumonia types, so reviewing clinical elements with your physician staff may help improve documentation and avoid adverse determinations by external reviewers for these conditions.
The European Heart Journal recently published the fourth universal definition of myocardial infarction (MI). The newest definition, which supersedes all previous versions, includes new and updated clinical concepts as well as new sections of guidance.
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.
Q: If a CDI specialist doesn’t enter the queried diagnosis in his or her working DRG, but the physician responds favorably to the queried diagnosis at the time of coding (or during the retrospective query process), would you consider this in the reconciliation process? If yes, how would we capture this type of data?
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.
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.
CMS recently 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.
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.
CMS and the National Center for Health Statistics recently released the 2019 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting. Changes include clarification on the usage of “with,” updated sepsis guidance, and added guidelines for subsequent myocardial infarction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recently released a 2018 update to guidelines for the care of patients with sepsis. The update includes a new “hour-one bundle” which replaces previous versions of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines.
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.
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.
On June 18, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a version of the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). ICD-11 reflects critical advances in science and medicine and is the first code set revision to be well integrated with electronic health applications and information systems, WHO says.
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.
Q: If a patient is immobile or comatose for an extended period of time in the hospital and develops a stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcer of the left upper back, would this be considered a hospital-acquired condition (HAC)?
Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP, writes that when reporting Alzheimer’s, understanding the disease and its symptoms is important for coders, as entries in the ICD-10-CM alphabetic index can be confusing. 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.
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.
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.
CMS released the fiscal year (FY) 2019 IPPS proposed rule on Tuesday, April 24, with significant reductions to reporting requirements for quality initiatives and expected ICD-10-CM/PCS code and MS-DRG updates.
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.
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.
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.
Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria has a greater sensitivity than quick sepsis-related organ failure assessment (qSOFA) as a screening test to initiate treatment for sepsis in non-intensive care unit patients, according to the recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Q: We have gotten conflicting advice regarding ICD-10-CM code categories B95-B97 (Bacterial and viral infectious agents) regarding CCs, MCCs, and severity of illness/risk of mortality. Could you clarify the impact of reporting causative organisms?
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.
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.
Of emergency department visits attributable to ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myocardial infarction, stroke, aortic dissection, and subarachnoid hemorrhage, the conditions were not accurately diagnosed approximately one out of 20 times, according to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) .
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.