Query Tip: Avoiding a Leading Query – Don’t Be Directive
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. One way to avoid being directive is to phrase the query question as an actual question.
Many coders in trying to be polite and respectful end up writing a directive query. “Please document…” is frequently used by coders to begin their query. This would be considered a directive statement rather than a question. Coders can restate the statement as “Can you clarify…” Terms such as confirm, specify, or indicate may also be used, depending on the purpose of the query.
Other directive statements seen in queries include “Coding guidelines require…” or “The DRG may be impacted…” Many providers are not concerned with coding guidelines, payment implications to the hospital, or other nonclinical issues. A query should only be used for documentation clarification. Statements regarding coding guidelines, Coding Clinic advice, or DRG impact have no place in a provider query since that information is only relevant to the coder.
Examples of Directive Query Questions
- Please document the cause of patient’s altered mental status.
- Coding guidelines state that symptoms should not be coded if the underlying cause is known. Document the cause of the patient’s confusion in the discharge summary.
- If the patient’s CHF is exacerbated, the DRG will be affected. Please indicate the CHF acuity during this admission.
Examples of Nonleading Query Questions
- Can you clarify the cause of patient’s altered mental status?
- Can you confirm the cause of patient’s confusion?
- Can you specify the acuity of patient’s CHF during this admission?
The information contained in this query advice is valid at the time of posting. Viewers are encouraged to research subsequent official guidance in the areas associated with the topic as they can change rapidly.
Wow, have you seen the proposed rule for FY2023 IPPS yet? There are 1,495 proposed coding changes to ICD-10-CM diagnoses codes alone! There are also some IPPS changes to note. As for ICD-10-PCS, there are not as many new codes, most significantly occlusion of prostate artery and knee joint replacement codes.
Coding denials are sent after the auditor has reviewed the record in question and the auditor does not agree with the DRG that was paid. This can be for either a diagnosis or a procedure code that they think does not meet reporting requirements.
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As of April 1, 2022 discharges, the following changes in ICD-10 and IPPS will be implemented. For years the coding community did not see changes occurring in April of the fiscal year. HIM professionals were used to not even worrying about April changes. This year, we do have some significant code additions and a change in the IPPS CC/MCC edit. The ICD10MCE and Grouper Version will be 39.1.
DRG 640 (Miscellaneous disorders of nutrition, metabolism, fluids, and electrolytes with MCC) was the number 9 most common DRG with recommendations from HIA in 2021.
DRG 981 (Extensive O.R Procedures unrelated to principal diagnosis with MCC) was the number 8 most common DRG with recommendations from HIA in 2021.
DRG 291 (Heart failure with shock with MCC). This should be no surprise to coders that DRG 291 is in the top DRG’s with recommendation. It seems to always be in the top 5 and a focus for denials.
DRG 177 (Respiratory infections and inflammations with MCC) and 178 (Respiratory infections and inflammations with CC). This should be no surprise to coders that DRG 177 is in the top DRG’s with recommendation.
Sepsis is and will most likely always be a troubled area for coders. There are multiple reasons for this and we will look at a few of these. There are many different criteria being used to validate the diagnosis of sepsis.
During a recent review of spinal fusion cases at a client, we found coding issues on the cases in which both an anterior interbody fusion, anterior open approach was done on one day and two days later, the patient was brought back for a posterior fusion, posterior open approach. Below are some of the recommendations we made along with education explanations.
This is Part 5 of a five part series on the new 2022 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 5 part series on the new 2022 CPT codes. In this one we will explore the nervous, ocular and auditory systems CPT changes.
This is Part 3 of a 5 part series on the new 2022 CPT codes. In this one we will explore the digestive, urinary and reproductive system CPT changes.
This is Part 1 of a five part series on the new 2022 CPT codes. In this series we include examples to help the coder understand the new codes.
10 ICD-10 Codes from the Christmas movie Home Alone. T20. 10XA for Harry, Burn of first degree of head, face, and neck, unspecified site, initial encounter. T20.56XA for Kevin and his aftershave incident, Corrosion of first degree of forehead and cheek, initial encounter.
Did you get a chance to read the FY2022 IPPS Final Rule? There is an interesting topic that was discussed regarding unspecified ICD-10-CM laterality diagnosis codes, to be exact. In this coding tip we discuss that subject and possible ramifications of it in the coding world.
In Part 4 of the series, we will review the NTAP procedure codes and reimbursement add-on payments. Prepare yourself as this is rather lengthy due to continuation of NTAP that would normally expire.
Coders are instructed, at this time, to follow the AHA Frequently Asked Questions Regarding ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding for COVID-19. Lately, we have seen missing PCS codes for the new technology drugs that were introduced on August 1, 2020 and thereafter.