A Brief History of Medical Coding
Because the medical coding field is expanding so rapidly at the moment, it may seem like it’s a relatively new occupation… but this certainly isn’t the case!
Medical billing and coding have been around for decades. And just like fifty years ago, it continues to be an ever-changing field.
Believe it or not, the ICD-9 diagnosis coding system originated in 17th century England.
Statistical data was gathered through a system known as the London Bills of Mortality and arranged into numerical codes. These codes were used to measure the most frequent causes of death.
Fast-forward a few hundred years…
By 1937, this statistical analysis of the causes of death was organized into the International List of Causes of Death. Over the years, the World Health Organization (WHO) used this list more and more to assist in tracking mortality rates and international health trends.
The list was later developed into the International Classification of Diseases, which is now in its 10th edition, also known as the ICD-10-CM/PCS.
In 1977, the worldwide medical community recognized the ICD system, which then prompted the National Centers for Health Statistics (NCHS) to expand the study to include clinical information.
In other words, in 1977, the ICD system was expanded to not only include causes of death, but also clinical diagnoses such as illnesses and injuries.
Adding clinical diagnoses provided additional statistical information on basic healthcare. Now there was a way to index medical records, make medical reviews easier to complete, and provide further opportunities for medical care.
The ICD-10 version is much more specific than previous editions, for example, in ICD-9 there were only 13,000 codes and the “other” and “non-specified” codes were used for numerous diseases, conditions, and injuries. The ICD-10 has 68,000 codes, which eliminate a lot of the “other” and “non-specified” codes which help greatly with the reimbursement process.There will be a lot fewer denied claims and physicians and healthcare providers will be paid for specific services instead of generic cases.
There were numerous changes made between ICD-9 and ICD-10. Aside from the number of codes and the elimination of most of the “other” and the “non-specified” codes and the inclusion of combination codes for symptoms and diagnoses, fewer codes are needed to report and fully describe a patient’s condition. The code set has been expanded from five positions (first one alphanumeric, others numeric) to seven positions. The codes use alphanumeric characters in all positions, not just the first position as in ICD-9. When using a modifier, the codes expand to 6 or 7 positions.
So,why the Change from ICD-9 to ICD-10? The question on a lot of physicians, coders, and healthcare information specialists minds was why the change? Many of these people believed the change would only confuse everyone and make things worse; if it is not broken why fix it? What they didn’t realize is that the “system” was not only broken but dated and in need of upgrading. If hospitals, healthcare facilities, and private practice physicians were going to “stay in business” these changes were necessary and long overdue.
As medicine becomes more reliant on technology and web-based medical records, more changes are sure to take place involving medical billing and coding guidelines and the preservation and confidentiality of medical records. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already approved adding 3,651 ICD-10 hospital inpatient procedure codes and about 1,900 ICD-10 diagnosis codes for the fiscal year 2017. Implementation of the new codes will begin in October 2016.
Medical Coding is making history right now and the future of health care looks promising.
For more information concerning the history of medical coding: mb-guide.org/history-of-medical-coding.html
Last week, we looked at tidbits for reporting the ICD-10-CM codes for pregnancy/obstetric records. Now we will look at some for the ICD-10-PCS reporting of these records. In reporting the appropriate ICD-10-PCS codes a coder must know what is included in the terminology of products of conception (POC).
Chances are, we all know someone affected by heart disease and stroke, because about 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 38 seconds. But together we can change that.
There was a time when coding delivery records was considered simple. Many times, these types of records were given to the newer coders. However, as coding becomes more complex, this is no longer the case. With the implementation of ICD-10-CM came more codes for very detailed and specific issues that occur during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium.
When it comes to coding and documentation, finding your own rhythm can lead to positive results. For our series, Find Your Routine, we interviewed our most productive coders and asked them what steps they take to find a rhythm that works for them. This week, we talked with Allison Curry, RHIT, CCS, Coding Specialist at Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
One way to shorten a lengthy query is by avoiding repetition in the supporting documentation. Does the same diagnosis really need to be mentioned multiple times in the clinical indicators? Is it necessary to list the results of a chest x-ray twice? Does listing the same documentation multiple times give further specification or explanation to the query?
Tobacco use can lead to tobacco/nicotine dependence and serious health problems. Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of developing smoking-related diseases. Tobacco/nicotine dependence is a condition that often requires repeated treatments, but there are helpful treatments and resources for quitting.
This is Part 5 of a five part series on the new 2019 CPT codes. For the remaining areas we will just briefly summarize the section. Due to the intricate nature of these sections in CPT, it is recommended that the coder read the entire section notes associated with the new codes.
This is Part 4 of a five part series on the new 2019 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY 2019 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There is 1 new lymphatic code, 2 new digestive system codes with 3 deletions, 3 new urinary system codes with one deletion and 7 deleted nervous system codes with 2 revisions.
This is Part 3 of a five part series on the new 2019 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2019 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There are 9 new cardiovascular CPT codes added with 2 deletions and 3 revisions.
When it comes to coding and documentation, finding your own rhythm can lead to positive results. For our series, Find Your Routine, we interviewed our most productive coders and asked them what steps they take to find a rhythm that works for them. This week, we talked with Tilina Sablan, RHIT, CCS, Coding Specialist with Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
This is Part 2 of a five part series on the new 2019 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2019 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There are 4 new musculoskeletal CPT codes added with 2 deletions and 0 revisions.
This is Part 1 of a five part series on the new 2019 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2019 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There were 15 new integumentary CPT codes added with 3 deletions and 1 revision.
In part 5 of our series, we look at DRG 64—Intracranial hemorrhage or cerebral infarction with MCC. For this DRG recommendation the majority (almost all) were recommended to DRG 65 (Intracranial hemorrhage or cerebral infarction with CC) with deletion of the reported MCC.
The majority of the recommendations from DRG 190 (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease w/MCC) was to DRG 189 (Pulmonary edema and respiratory failure) with re-sequencing of respiratory failure as the PDX or adding as a new code and sequenced as PDX.
The majority of the recommendations from DRG 853 (Infectious & parasitic disease with O.R. procedure with MCC) were to DRG 871 (Septicemia w/o MV 96+ hours with MCC) with deletion or revision of the PCS code. Some of these required physician query.
The majority of the recommendations from DRG 872 (Septicemia w/o mechanical ventilation 96+ hours w/o MCC) were to DRG 871 (Septicemia w/o mechanical ventilation 96+ hours with MCC) with the addition of an MCC to the account. Not all of these required a physician query and were present in the medical record documentation without any clarification needed prior to coding.
The majority of the recommendations from DRG 871 (Septicemia w/o MV 96+ hours with MCC) were to DRG 872 (Septicemia w/o MV 96+ hours w/o MCC) with the recommendation to delete the reported MCC or query for clarification to support the MCC that had been reported.
Every year, we make plans to live a healthier, more organized, and balanced life. For some of us, we end up falling short of those expectations. This year, to keep us on track with our New Year’s goals, we have put together a few of the most common New Year’s resolutions along with their ICD-10 diagnoses codes. Check out our tips and tricks for a healthy 2019!
Top 5 ProFee diagnosis changes found in recent HIA reviews: 1. I10 – Essential (Primary) Hypertension; 2. E11.9 – Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Without Complications; 3. K29.60 – Other Gastritis Without Bleeding; 4. R13.19 – Other Dysphagia; 5. I25.10 – Atherosclerotic Heart Disease of Native Coronary Artery Without Angina Pectoris.
What is the principal procedure? The procedure that is performed for definitive treatment or is taking care of a complication is the principal procedure. Procedures for diagnostic or exploratory purposes that are performed in addition to a procedure being performed for definitive treatment, would be reported in addition to the principal procedure.
A query question that is directive in nature, indicating what the provider should document, rather than asking for his/her professional determination of clinical facts, constitutes a leading query. The provider should not be made to feel obligated to document anything.
When I start coding a chart, I enter all account information in log and do any abstracting—disposition, admitting, and attending—take care of all of that first. ED, H&P, consult, progress reports, and discharge summary.
Some Speed Reading Tips: Once you start reading, don’t stop! Read the text straight through. If you have any question after you have completed reading the material, go back and reread the relevant sections. Reread the marked sections of the text (the items you indicated that you didn’t quite understand). Write a small summary at the beginning of the chapter – consisting about 3-4 sentences.
In HIA quality reviews we are finding that some coders are reporting Z41.2—Encounter for routine and ritual circumcision, during the male newborn birth admission, when circumcision is performed prior to discharge.
The cause/etiology of GI bleeding is not always easily determined. During procedures, to work the bleeding up, there are often multiple potential sources of bleeding found but not identified as the culprit. Many of these findings have “with” or “in” in the main or subterms.
On December 1, 2018, the HIA team based at our headquarters in Pawleys Island, South Carolina received a visit from a surprise guest – meet Otis, HIA’s very own Elf on a Shelf. Otis will be sticking around until Christmas to keep an eye on all of us. We have a feeling he may get into some trouble! Check back daily to see what Otis is up to. #OtisOnOtisDrive
When it comes to coding and documentation, finding your own rhythm can lead to positive results. For our new series, Find Your Routine, we interviewed our most productive coders and asked them what steps they take to find a rhythm that works for them. This week, we talked with Crystal Junkins, CCS, CPC, Coding Specialist with Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
COPD is a respiratory condition where there is chronic obstruction to airflow in the lungs. Air is breathed into the lungs but a patient with COPD has trouble emptying air out of the lungs. This can also cause patients with COPD to have CO2 retention. COPD is an irreversible and progressive disease in which the lung function worsens as time goes on.
Tissue findings interpreted by a pathologist are not equivalent to the attending physician’s medical diagnosis based on the patient’s clinical condition. If the attending physician has not indicated the significance of an abnormal finding within a pathology report…