Common ICD-10 Coding Errors Found in Audits: Part 4
The following is the fourth installment in a six-part coding education series from our Executive Director of Education, Patricia Maccariella-Hafey, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, CIRCC. In this series, Patricia reviews common ICD-10 CM and PCS coding errors discovered in audits and how they may impact reimbursement. Part four in our series takes a closer look at common errors in Biopsy Diagnostic Qualifier X and EGD with Biopsy Body Parts.
Before we jump into part four, please note the seven characters for medical and surgical procedures section and their meanings:
10. Biopsy Diagnostic Qualifier X
The problem in this instance is that coders are not applying the 7th character “X-Diagnostic” correctly.
Biopsy Diagnostic Qualifier X: B3.4a
Biopsy procedures are coded using the root operations Excision, Extraction, or Drainage and the qualifier Diagnostic. The qualifier Diagnostic is used only for biopsies.
A colonoscopy with biopsy of transverse colon is coded to root operation Excision and qualifier Diagnostic. If a colonoscopy is done to remove a polyp, and the polyp is sent to pathology, do NOT use qualifier X –diagnostic.
Biopsy with Definitive Treatment: B3.4b
If a diagnostic Excision, Extraction, or Drainage procedure (biopsy) is followed by a more definitive procedure, such as Destruction, Excision or Resection at the same procedure site, both the biopsy and the more definitive treatment are coded.
Biopsy of lesion of the left parotid gland, followed by resection of entire left parotid gland – codes are assigned for both the diagnostic Excision and Resection of left parotid gland.
Example: Excision of RUL of Lung Due to Cancer
Patient has undergone previous CT of the lung with identification of a right upper lobe mass, and patient was scheduled for surgery to remove the mass. Patient is admitted inpatient and undergoes open removal of the mass right upper lobe with margins. The specimen is sent to pathology where adenocarcinoma of the lung is diagnosed. The lung tissue margins are clear. The patient is discharged.
Would the coder assign the 7th character of “X Diagnostic” to the excision code?
No, for the case where a planned mass excision from the right upper lobe is performed, only one code for the excision of the mass is assigned with qualifier Z.
Example: Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Wedge Resection
History & Physical Examination (H&P): “Mr. XXX is here today to discuss options for diagnosing his progressive diffusing capacity dysfunction, now down to 59% predicted. He has significant exposure history including smoking. Previous FOB/BAL showed eosinophilia and was thought to be related to medications that has since been stopped. He is here to discuss tissue diagnosis… Mr. XXX has what appears to be progressive and diffuse pulmonary interstitial disease. There is volume loss in the right hemi thorax. No significant mediastinal lymphadenopathy. Would agree with tissue sampling to make a definitive diagnosis of the cause of the fibrosis…”
Op note: “…Right-sided video-assisted thoracoscopic exploration with wedge resection of the middle lobe and the upper lobe…”
Indication for the procedure: “…an unfortunate 68-year-old gentlemen who presents with worsening SOB and dyspnea on exertion. He has undergone bronchoscopy in the past with biopsies, brushing and cultures and these have been diagnostic. His disease has progressed and he was therefore, referred for possible tissue biopsy.”
Op note: “… I palpated the lung, and along with the tactile stimulus, as well as CT scan findings, the areas were chosen in the upper lobe, as well as the middle lobe for biopsy. An Endo-GIA stapler was used to divide these small portions of lung from the remainder of the lung. These both were placed in an EndoCatch pouch. A small portion of each specimen was sent for microbiology and gram stain, culture and sensitivity. The remaining majority of the specimen was sent for permanent analysis.”
Pathology: Lung, right middle lobe, wedge biopsy shows advanced interstitial pneumonia with a usual interstitial pneumonia pattern.
11. EGD with Biopsy Body Parts
The problem is that many times during EGD, the physician biopsies the antrum of the stomach. ICD-10-PCS assigns this body part to stomach, pylorus.
Antrum of Stomach classified as Pylorus
The index says for pyloric antrum, use stomach, pylorus. This includes pyloric antrum; pyloric canal and; pyloric sphincter.
Dorland’s Medical Dictionary states: “antrum, pyloric is the dilated portion of the pyloric part of the stomach, distal to the body of the stomach and proximal to the pyloric canal. It is also called also gastric antrum and antrum of stomach… “pylorus, the distal aperture of the stomach, opening into the duodenum, variously used to mean pyloric part of the stomach and pyloric antrum, canal, opening or sphincter.”
EGD with Biopsy of Antrum: 0DB78ZX
The information contained in this coding advice is valid at the time of posting. Readers are encouraged to research subsequent official guidance in the areas associated with the topic as they can change rapidly.
This is Part 5 of a five part series on the new 2021 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.
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This is Part 2 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2021 and include some examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There are 0 new musculoskeletal CPT codes added with 0 deletions and 2 major revisions along with an extensive update to arthroscopic loose body removal requirements. For the respiratory system, there were 2 new codes, one code deletion and no revisions.
This is Part 1 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2021 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. For 2021 in general, there were 199 new CPT codes added, 54 deleted and 69 revised.
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We have seen many updates and changes to COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) since the pandemic started. On January 1, 2021 we will see even more changes as outlined in this post. Also the CMS MS-DRG grouper will be updated to version 38.1 to accommodate the changes.
In the previous three parts of this four-part series, we discussed the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis code changes, ICD-10-PCS procedure code changes and FY2021 IPPS changes. In this last Part 4 of the series, we will review the NTAP procedure codes and reimbursement add-on payments for FY2021.
In the previous two parts of this four part series, we discussed the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis code changes and ICD-10-PC procedure code changes. In this session we will review the major IPPS changes for FY2021.
This is Part 2 of a 4 part series on the FY2021 ICD-10 Code and IPPS changes. In this part, the ICD-10-PCS procedure codes are presented. For FY2021 ICD-10-PCS there are 78,115 total codes (FY2020 total was 77,571); 556 new codes (734 new last year in FY2020)…
This is Part 1 of a 4 part series on the FY2021 changes to ICD-10 and the IPPS. In this part, we discuss some of the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis changes. Here is the breakdown: 72,616 total ICD-10-CM codes for FY2021; 490 new codes (2020 had 273 new codes); 58 deleted codes (2020 had 21 deleted codes); 47 revised codes (2020 had 30 revised codes)
Acute pulmonary edema is the rapid accumulation of fluid within the tissue and space around the air sacs of the lung (lung interstitium). When this fluid collects in the air sacs in the lungs it is difficult to breathe. Acute pulmonary edema occurs suddenly and is life threatening.
“Client S” is a small, not-for-profit, 40 bed micro-hospital in the Southeast. HIA performed a 65-record review this year for Client S and found an opportunity with 15 of them. 9 had an increased reimbursement with a total of $43,228 found.
The coma scale codes (R40.2-) can be used in conjunction with traumatic brain injury codes, acute cerebrovascular disease or sequelae of cerebrovascular disease codes. These codes are primarily for use by trauma registries, but they may be used in any setting where this information is collected. The coma scale may also be used to assess the status of the central nervous system for other non-trauma conditions, such as monitoring patients in the intensive care unit regardless of medical condition.
In the past, there had been an Excludes1 note at I46.- Cardiac arrest that excluded R57.0, Cardiac shock. HIA had also received a letter from AHA on a case in the past that had stated that only I46.- Cardiac arrest would be coded if both were documented. In addition, the Third Quarter Coding Clinic page 26 had a similar case that asked if both could be coded, and AHA had instructed that only I46.9, cardiac arrest, cause unspecified would be coded if both were documented and that the CDC would be looking at possible revision to the Excludes1 note.
A higher CMI corresponds to increased consumption of resources and increased cost of patient care, resulting in increased reimbursement to the facility from government and private payers, like CMS. We know that documentation directly impacts coding.
Lately we have seen several cases where the endarterectomy was assigned along with the coronary artery bypass (CABG) procedure when being performed on the same vessel to facilitate the CABG. A coronary artery endarterectomy is not always performed during a CABG procedure, so when it is performed it becomes confusing as to whether to code it separately or not.
Assign code Z20.828, “Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases” for all patients who are tested for COVID-19 and the results are negative, regardless of symptoms, no symptoms, exposure or not as we are in a pandemic.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new procedure codes for treatments of COVID-19 – effective as of August 1, 2020. Among the new codes are Section X New Technology codes for the introduction or infusion of therapeutics including Remdesivir, Sarilumab, Tocilizumab, transfusion of convalescent plasma, as well as introduction of any other or new therapeutic substances for the treatment of COVID-19.
One common element in many value-based programs is risk adjustment using Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs) to create a Risk Adjustment Factor (RAF) score. This method ranks diagnoses into categories that represent conditions with similar cost patterns.
Why are so many AKI records being denied? It’s hard to give one answer for why so many AKI records are being denied lately, but most appear to be due to the multiple sets of criteria available for use in determining if a patient has AKI, as well as physician documentation. As stated in Part 3 of this series, there are three main criteria/classifications used to diagnose AKI.
In previous parts of this series we looked at the definitions of AKI/ARF, causes, coding and sequencing, and the common clinical indicators that patients present with that are diagnosed with this condition. In Part 4, we will look at the documentation that should be present to report the diagnosis without fear of denial, as well as when a query is needed to clarify the diagnosis.
If the facility does a COVID-19 test, and test is negative, do I need a diagnosis code. The answer is yes, you will report a Z-code. The Z-code depends on the record documentation and circumstances of testing. For any patient receiving a COVID-19 test, if negative, there MUST e a Z-code to describe why the test was taken. (Test negative for COVID-19 and MD does not override negative results).
The FY2021 IPPS Proposed Rule is out and here are some highlights from it regarding ICD-10 Code proposals. We will know if these changes are permanent after the public comment period is over on July 10, 2020 and CMS prepares the Final Rule, usually out by August 1.
As discussed in Part 1 of this series, AKI/ARF is a common diagnosis that coders see daily. In Part 2, we are going to focus on the different types/specificity of AKI/ARF. We’ll learn what they mean, as well as how to code the diagnosis.
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Effective March 1, Medicare will pay physicians for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person visits for all diagnoses, not just services related to COVID-19. This great for providers whose patients are reluctant to visit the office.
The biggest reasons why some hospital systems are moving to single path coding is to eliminate duplicative processes and to optimize productivity. In addition, costs are reduced when only one coder “touches” the record and completes both types of coding.