News

Interoperability is seen as the first step to using data for health improvement. I expect that 2019 will be the “Year of Interoperability”.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), through its hospital and physician incentive programs, is asking providers to have their electronic health records (EHRs) capable of…
Rapidly shifting societal demographics impact SDoH. 2018 saw the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) rise to be among the most popular hot topics for the healthcare industry. In 2018 alone: $1.7 trillion in care was attributed to 5 percent of the population. ICD-10 coding reimbursement for the SDoH took place…
Clinical validation denials continue to climb. When payers issue clinical validation denials, they challenge diagnoses documented in the chart by the providers caring for the patient. Sometimes, it’s not simply the validity of diagnoses in question, but whether coding rules were violated.  This being the case, assessment and subsequent potential…
Coders can expect to confront new challenges, including new payment models and HIPAA changes. The new year brings new challenges for the healthcare industry. From new payment models to updates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to 21st Century Cures, hold on to your hats, because it…
Coders are encouraged to query if not sure.The ratio of observed-to-expected deaths is considered a measure of hospital quality. Recording accurate metrics depends on capturing all relevant diagnoses to optimize the expected mortality denominator. The explanatory variables groupings of mortality modeling for institutions include both definitive diagnoses and signs/symptoms. A…
Integrity means moving from a retroactive, transactional approach to one that documentations patient care. There is much discussion and movement in the clinical documentation improvement (CDI) industry regarding using the word “integrity” in describing the discipline. In perusing the Internet for a solid definition of “integrity,” a Huffington Post article…
Coders must ensure documentation supports the service, either moderate sedation or MAC. Coding moderate sedation (or conscious sedation) and monitored anesthesia care (MAC) is not difficult; however, distinguishing what the services provided are and deciphering conflicted information about which physicians can report what codes can be confusing for some coders…
Address documentation and coding issues up front, rather than correct them later. Coders have had many challenges throughout the years.  When I started in the industry, we did not submit claims electronically; they were submitted on paper and we used an IBM Selectric Typewriter to complete what was then the…