News

New initiative is detailed in the OIG work plan. As many of you are aware, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a key addition to its work plan announcing an initiative to investigate and validate their concern of hospitals gaming…
Facilities are urged to re-double coder training and education. Coders and auditors are taught to be diligent for the high frequency, high cost, and problem-prone cases as these topics are the focus on third-party reviewers. What does that mean for the new coder? The new coder may not be aware…
To link, or not to link: that is the question for physician documentation Since the adoption of the ICD-10 code set, clinical documentation integrity specialists (CDISs) have experienced an ongoing dilemma of capturing complication codes with regard to adverse drug events versus ‘known’ or ‘inherent’ side effects. At our organization,…
New criteria could be incorporated in ICD-11. Malnutrition is a terrible problem worldwide, even more so in third-world countries than here in the U.S. Historically, it was due to starvation and famine, born of poverty, war, and nature, but malnutrition due to disease and inflammation is a major factor now,…
Ten things to consider before outsourcing your healthcare needs.  I have spent a good part of the past 10 years in the healthcare industry, immersing myself in the workings of foreign countries as it relates to coding, billing, compliance, HIPAA, Protected Health Information (PHI), etc., and have found that there…
No separate codes for podiatric E&M visits in final rule. The final rule for the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule was released on Nov. 1. Some of what was in the proposed rule was finalized, while other elements were either modified or completely eliminated. The proposal to reduce payment when evaluation and…
Are there “Zs” in your spinal fusion coding? The fiscal year (FY) 2019 ICD-10-PCS updated an area that has not received much attention: Spinal fusion codes. During the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting in September 2017, the topic of invalid spinal fusion codes…
How healthcare providers can best prepare for the worst. Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of a recent segment on Talk Ten Tuesdays by Julie Dooling, speaking on challenges and tips for healthcare organizations in the face of a natural disaster. Collectively, we continue to learn from experiences where…