News

HAC coding impacts hospital financial performance. Hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) have been reported on hospital claims since FY 2008. Payments to hospitals ranking in the lowest-performing quartile were adjusted by 1-percent reductions beginning Oct. 1, 2014. This program is known as the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, and it is part of…
Audits are being conducted by payers on being cost-effective with “wastage” of medication. When it comes to the JW modifier for discarded medication, there are things of which you might not be aware, especially, the administration of expensive pharmaceuticals such as chemotherapy. The verbiage that everyone is familiar with is…
The goal should be a 100 percent response rate. On a recent onsite, one of the clinical documentation integrity specialists (CDISs) asked me my opinion on how assiduous a clinical documentation integrity (CDI) professional should be to get a query answered. My response may surprise some of you. I must…
“Separate procedure” may not mean what you think. Many procedural codes in the CPT® Book are designated as “separate procedures.” However, the common misinterpretation of this is that coders can report such codes as such in every case. Not true. First, you must consider: Were there other procedures performed during…
Developing a team approach can positively impact coding quality and reduce coding errors. Coding professionals are faced with a myriad of challenges that can significantly impede coding quality. Such challenges include ongoing, increasing pressure to meet management productivity standards and CFO expectations to drop bills in a timely manner to…
Is the healthcare industry tone deaf to physicians’ complaints? The Physicians Foundation 2018 Physician Survey, published on Sept. 18, 2018, features opinions of our nation’s physicians—opinions that are sobering and should sound a loud wake-up call.  When distilled down to the very essence of the report, the “fixes” for our…
Understanding the correct use of chronic condition codes in the coding process. Coders are often confused regarding when they should code co-morbid chronic conditions and when they should not. This leads to inaccurate coding of levels, or sometimes missing out on the opportunity of stressing each patient’s true clinical conditions,…
CMS and ONC get serious about interoperability during HIMSS.During the HIMSS 19 conference in Orlando last week, the heads of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took extraordinary steps by discussing the content of two proposed…