Diseases and procedures are hitting the news.  Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that 35 people had reported seizures (R56.9) after using electronic cigarettes (F17.290). The seizures were considered adverse events and involved children and young adults. Seizures are possible side effects of nicotine poisoning (T65.221-). The…
Complications of CKD include early death and heart disease. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 15 percent of United States adults, or 37 million people, according to a recent statement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The following are some basic facts about CKD; specifically, it is: More…
These conditions should be on the radar for coding and clinical documentation integrity. There has been much discussion about healthcare expenses in recent months. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is focusing on value-based purchasing (VBP), and payors are focused on reducing costs through Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs)…
Coding of chronic conditions: Part 2  This article addresses concerns regarding the coding of chronic conditions during a patient’s journey. The truth of the matter is that depending on your role in the coding process, your experience coding chronic conditions can differ greatly from that of others. As indicated in…
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,…
Chronic conditions are the driving force in determining healthcare outcomes and costs in today’s value-based world, hence the interest in the Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) coding payment model. Coding chronic conditions and co-morbidities is becoming increasingly critical as the healthcare landscape shifts toward value-based care. Value-based care attempts to advance…
Answers to listeners’ questions posed during last week’s edition of Talk Ten Tuesdays are provided here by the author. There is a disconnect among coders and clinicians regarding the concept of “chronic” conditions. All clinicians have interviewed a patient who denies any past medical history, but when confronted with their…