Not knowing the difference could amount to shortchanging yourself.It seems like the simpler the question, the harder it can be to answer. When we ask the question, “is this a new or established patient?” it amazes me that it is not a black-and-white answer. But when we look at the…
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…
CMS announced on Friday a proposed rule to expand telehealth access for patients. Hospitals, doctors, and other providers seeking an edge in today’s highly competitive healthcare environment would do well to consider a smart telehealth strategy. It’s not an option anymore to think that telemedicine doesn’t fit into your practice.…
A lesson in coding and policy.Medical marijuana, or cannabis, as it is commonly referred to in the healthcare field, is allowing chronically ill patients to relieve painful, often debilitating symptoms legally instead of taking pills many claim do little to ease severe pain. The widespread acceptance of marijuana as a useful…
The new definition includes clinical concepts that were not an option before when choosing an MI diagnosis. Since 2012, changes and updates have continued to clarify the acute myocardial infarction (AMI) diagnosis. There are now five types of MI diagnoses that have been expanded and updated through the years, and…
Skin biopsy codes are changing. EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an updated version of the second installment in a two-part series on the 2019 CPT® codes released recently by the American Medical Association.For many years we have used two codes to report skin biopsies. CPT® 11100 for the first lesion and…
New code changes number 335. The new current procedural terminology (CPT®) codes have been released with 335 code changes in 2019.  There were many code revisions with guideline, description and instructional note changes.   Let’s look at the highlights of many new CPT codes for 2019. There six new codes in the…
Is your Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system helping you pass an audit or hurting you? Editor’s Note: This is the third piece in a four-part series that examines physician documentation issues as seen by an auditor. As we dive even further into the auditing pitfalls of a physician E&M audit,…
Physician documentation issues during an audit go beyond CDI. EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a four-part series that examines physician documentation issues as seen by an auditor. One of the services I offer, aside from coding and billing education, is practice audits for evaluation and management (E&M) procedural…