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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Coding leadership can assist the chargemaster team by providing input, preparing appeals, and tracking coding-related denials. Rose T. Dunn, MBA, RHIA, CPA/CGMA, FACHE, FHFMA, CHPS , describes how to effectively work with a team of coders to combat continued denials.
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.
A nine-month audit conducted by a CDI specialist at a family practice and internal medicine clinic revealed 1,353 coding errors on physician-coded claims for outpatient office visits. Tammy Trombley, RHIT, CDIP, CCDS , reviews findings from this 2017 audit and discusses implications for risk-adjustment coding.
Continuing with numerous requests for comment in last year’s OPPS proposed rule, CMS is once again asking stakeholders for feedback on a variety of issues for potential future rulemaking. Review OPPS proposals for quality measure changes and policies aimed at improving interoperability and the electronic exchange of information between providers.
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.
Along with quality measure removals in the 2018 OPPS and MPFS final rules, CMS has continued to propose additional removals in the 2019 proposed rules. In addition, the agency is proposing to add to its ability to remove quality measures in the future.
CMS’ 2019 OPPS proposed rule, released in late July, continues the agency’s efforts to enforce site-neutral payments and reduce drug payments by introducing policies to reduce reimbursement for hospital outpatient clinic visits at off-campus, provider-based departments.
Continuing with numerous specific requests for comment in last year’s OPPS proposed rule, CMS is once again asking stakeholders for feedback on a variety of issues for the 2019 OPPS proposed rule for future potential rulemaking. You may submit comments to the agency until September 24, 2018.
A common error and audit finding affecting providers is the lack of a physician order or physician signatures on medical documentation. Kimberly A. H. Baker, JD, CPC , reviews CMS guidance for physician signatures on medical documentation.
Back in January, I wrote an article regarding E/M codes and the need for changes to the 1995 and 1997 E/M documentation guidelines. In that article, I suggested making E/M codes for office visits solely time-based to simplify the reporting of these very subjective codes. Little did I know that this is what CMS would propose months later.
To succeed in a modern health information management (HIM) environment, coding departments need efficient coding specialists and knowledgeable management to monitor coder performance and provide feedback. Review expert guidance on hiring staff and determining work flow to improve the organizational structure of your coding department.
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.
A July 2018 update to the OPPS clarifies that coders can report HCPCS code C9749 for an inherently bilateral procedure with modifiers -73 or -74 to indicate that the procedure was unilateral. Debbie Mackaman, RHIA, CPCO, CCDS, unpacks this seemingly contradictory guidance and addresses implications for coding and billing professionals.
Many HIM directors find that managing the coding team requires a different type of focus than other functions within the department. This may be true because coding professionals have advanced education, prefer a quiet work environment, and require less direction.
Provider documentation must meet required standards to support the level of care provided. Rose Dunn, MBA, RHIA, CPA/CGMA, FACHE, FHFMA, CHPS , reviews payer guidelines and medical necessity requirements under Medicare for services performed in the outpatient setting.
Hospital systems need to be watchful for CMS proposals that will impact payment for drugs and drug therapies in 2019 and beyond. Jugna Shah, MPH, reviews the potential implications of recent CMS actions, such as the publication of the 2019 IPPS proposed rule and the overhaul of 340B drug payment program.
Healthcare providers are often confused about what a commercial or managed care payer would want in order to approve the claim. Much of this confusion comes from the timing of requirements to ensure reimbursement.
Predicting CMS policies can be a foolhardy exercise, especially with a relatively new administration and frequent turnover at the highest levels of HHS over the last year. But it’s safe to say drug payment policy has been and will continue to be a focus of the current regime.
Coders are on the front lines of claim submission and in a good position to foster compliance. Learn strategies to prevent fraud and abuse and encourage accurate documentation and billing within your outpatient facility. Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
When planning to implement a coding auditing program, the type of reviews, focus areas, and review frequency must all be taken into consideration. Rose T. Dunn, MBA, RHIA, CPA/CGMA, FACHE, FHFMA, CHPS , details how to conduct an effective coding audit and ensure compliance with documentation requirements.
Do you question how your compensation and work responsibilities compare to those reported by coders across the country? To see how you stack up, review results from JustCoding’s 2017 Coder Salary Survey . Note : To access this free article, make sure you first register here if you do not have a paid subscription.
CMS recently released MLN Matters SE18001 to provide healthcare practitioners with instructions and coding guidance for specimen validity when performed and billed in combination with drug testing. The article was issued to remind laboratories and other providers performing urine drug testing that specimen validity testing (SVT) is not separately billable.
A coding audit may be conducted by internal staff or external entities, typically representing the insurers paying for the care. When planning to implement a coding auditing program, the type of reviews, focus areas, and review frequency must all be taken into consideration.
Telehealth services continue to expand and claims for these services may already be under scrutiny by Medicare contractors. Debbie Mackaman, RHIA, CPCO, CCDS, writes about the differences between originating site and distant site services in addition to coding, billing, and reimbursement for telehealth services.
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.
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.
Medical necessity documentation, or lack thereof, is one of the most common reasons for claim denials. This article describes how medical necessity impacts third-party payers and those who work in billing and reimbursement services.
In the current healthcare climate, the issue of medical necessity documentation, or lack thereof, is one of the most common reasons for claim denials. For a service to be considered medically necessary (by a third-party payer), it must be considered a reasonable and necessary service to diagnose and/or treat a patient’s current and/or chronic medical condition.
Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced, a new voluntary bundled payment model launched by CMS in January, includes 32 clinical episodes encompassing both inpatient admissions and outpatient procedures. Yvette DeVay, MHA, CPC, CPMA, CIC, CPC-I , writes about participation criteria, payment calculations, and quality measures for this program.
Shannon E. McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CPC-I, CEMC, CRC, CCDS , writes about discussions at the AMA CPT Symposium that could impact coders, including the need for updates to CMS’ E/M Documentation Guidelines and how medical decision making is used as a key component for E/M reporting.
In recent years, numerous pieces of legislation have been passed to limit healthcare spending, combat losses due to fraud, and ensure that dollars are being spent on quality care. Adrienne Commeree, CPC, CPMA, CCS, CEMC, CPIP , describes different watchdog programs created to promote billing compliance and quality of care.
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.
The advancement of accurate and compliant coding efforts brings unique challenges. As benevolent as a health information management (HIM) department’s mission may seem to be, for many facilities, the focus of physician queries continues to be “optimizing” information in the medical record to increase reimbursement.