Body mass index is a heavy topic. Spring has arrived in the Northeast and people are getting back to their exercise schedules. I was thinking about this topic as I was reading Coding Clinic, Fourth Quarter 2018. One of the big topics in this issue is body mass index (BMI)…
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…
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.…
CDI can drive down adversarial determinations of medical necessity and costly denials.  In my article published last week, titled Moving in the Right Direction in Getting to the Root Cause of Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI), I outlined that CDI plays a major role indeed in the context of overall healthcare…
Recent FCA activity focuses on coding compliance issues Recently in healthcare news were articles about two legal actions that cause one to reflect on the need for a strong (or stronger) coding and clinical documentation improvement (CDI) compliance programs.  The first legal action cited the False Claims Act (FCA) and…
The OIG continues to review cases of malnutrition. The diagnosis of severe protein calorie malnutrition is under high scrutiny from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG). Today, I’d like to explore the reasons…
Reporting bronchoalveolar lavage is all about location, location, location Reporting bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) has historically been a documentation nightmare for physicians and a quandary among coders. Physicians often use the right and left lung lobe sections to geographically indicate where the bronchoscope was advanced in the bronchial tree during BAL…
Strive to achieve coding compliance that really works. I’m often asked about how one would or should strive for coding compliance and make it happen. The first thing I do is to identify and acknowledge the risks or potential risks that occur. We all know that there are risks across…
Achieving accurate and comprehensive coding of such issues is an imperative. Mental and behavioral disorders have recently had a media spotlight shone on them, and coding of these disorders can sometimes be tricky. Learning the nuances can help achieve accurate coding, which will enhance data necessary to make improvements in…
Coders are encouraged to learn more about the clinical conditions associated with the patient encounters they are coding. As coders, we often struggle with assigning the correct codes. There are many gray areas in the guidelines and instructional notes, and sometimes even conflicting information can be found. This leads to…
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