Medical policies are based off of evidence-based medicine. Without proper documentation, however, most providers struggle to get services or procedures covered for patients.Exactly what is medical necessity? To many, it is the belief that a service or procedure is warranted or justified for a patient. Others view it as a…
December 19, 2017

Why CDI is a Game-Changer

CDI, used to clearly communicate the clinical status of a patient, comes with the increased scrutiny of third-party payers and federal oversight agencies. EDITOR’S NOTE: Stefani Daniels recently appeared on Talk-Ten-Tuesdays. The following are highlights from her segment on the broadcast.Hospitals are knee-deep in some radical changes in how and where…
Leaving 2017 and moving into 2018, three major issues await coders—issues that could be opportunities.As we now come to the end of another year and look towards the next, what are the big issues for coding professionals? I often think about the new Official Coding & Reporting Guidelines and the…
Dieticians’ findings must find their way into the medical record to achieve proper care and coding. Diagnosing malnutrition is not diving for dollars.Malnutrition – and I am specifically talking about undernutrition today – is a common but frequently unrecognized problem that leads to difficulty healing from trauma or surgery, or…
An insider’s look at coding Alzheimer’s and its associated symptoms.EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an edited transcript of Laurie Johnson’s recent appearance on Talk Ten Tuesdays.The late President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983 in order to help fight the dreaded condition. As Baby…
Eight key guidelines for ensuring proper coding. EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a summary of a presentation by Margaret Skurka during the 2017 American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) national convention in Los Angeles. Evaluation and management (E&M) documentation principles have been around a long time – since 1995, in…
Quality of clinical documentation and ICD-10 diagnosis code accuracy and specificity are essential under MACRA.My presentation at the 2017 American Health Information Management (AHIMA) convention stressed the need for understanding a basic overview of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and its performance categories. These performance categories and…
A CDIS recently posed a question that baffled – to say the least. In my consulting practice, I often review provider documentation to identify documentation gaps and to direct my educational efforts. I also get a significant amount of information about the state of the facility’s clinical documentation integrity process.…
CDI seen as a key solution to meeting regulatory policy changes.One thing is inevitable this time of year for all of us in healthcare: change is in the air. You either thrive amid it or hide, but even those best at hiding ultimately cannot escape. The question I often ponder…
Complexity of medical decision-making is key, but you can’t bill for something you didn’t do.This article was prompted by a Talk Ten Tuesdays listener’s question regarding his personal experience with the healthcare profession. He was evaluated in an emergency department (ED), never examined, but discovered a complete physical examination in…