Anthem announced that it may reject claims that contain a subsequent E/M service that’s linked to the same diagnosis as an earlier E/M encounter. Learn what Anthem’s modifier -25 policy means for providers and physician coders.
The role of the coder has transitioned over the past few years to one that is more auditing-heavy. Lori-Lynne A. Webb, CPC, CCS-P, CCP, CHDA, COBGC , describes how to effectively perform internal audits and educate providers on coding best practices.
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.
Providers will find significant leeway in how they can report advance care planning (ACP) services for physicians given CMS’ open-ended coding requirements. Review potentially confusing CPT time rules and other obstacles that may be holding back providers from engaging in ACP services.
Telehealth services are likely to promote health, wellness, and disease management, providing an avenue to offer efficient, high-quality care while supporting value-based care in a cost-effective manner. Although the benefit of telehealth is obvious and its value is continually highlighted by CMS, it appears the services are underutilized.
Hospital coders must develop and adhere to internal E/M coding guidelines and CPT guidance to accurately report visits to the ED. In addition, because ED coding encompasses professional and facility billing, they may need to scour provider documentation to determine the correct E/M service level for both bill types.
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.
Many outpatient CDI professionals stepped into their roles blind—not knowing where to begin or how to tell if they were successful. However, as programs mature, they need to be able to track their progress for a number of reasons, including focusing physician education and justifying continued funding from organizational leadership.
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.
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.
Establishing an outpatient CDI program can have substantial benefits. Recently, an outpatient CDI review project demonstrated there were many documentation improvement opportunities at a large family practice/internal medicine physician clinic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.