Common ICD-10 Coding Errors Found in Audits: Part 3
The following is the third 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 three in our series takes a closer look at Accidental Intraoperative Laceration, SIRS due to Infection vs. Sepsis, and Observation to Inpatient Admission.
7. Accidental Intraoperative Laceration
Example: K91.71, Accidental intraoperative laceration of digestive system organ during procedure on digestive system
Coders are often over coding/reporting when physician documents that the laceration was expected/incidental/anticipated during difficult lysis of adhesions.
Coders are not always reporting or querying MD for intraoperative lacerations due to CDI or other directive at facility when apparently significant. At the very least a query should be done on any questionable intraoperative lacerations as to whether or not they are truly complications or expected/incidental/anticipated lacerations
8. SIRS due to Infection vs. Sepsis
There is no index entry for systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) due to infection. (do not automatically translate to sepsis).
Coders must not assume SIRS due to infection is coded to sepsis without query.
- Clinical indicators must be met to query
- Coding Clinic 3Q 2014 page 4
Severe sepsis and septic shock must be documented in order to assign these codes.
SIRS of non-infectious origin is coded R65.10 or R65.11. Assign underlying cause as PDX!
There is also new Sepsis criteria:
Note that this is CLINICAL criteria. No directives for coding have been released by the cooperating parties and CMS Quality Measures are still tied to older Sepsis criteria.
Sepsis is defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection.
- In lay terms, sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs.
- Patients with suspected infection who are likely to have a prolonged ICU stay or to die in the hospital can be promptly identified at the bedside with signs including alteration in mental status, systolic blood pressure ≤100 mm Hg, or respiratory rate ≥22/min.
Septic shock is a subset of sepsis in which underlying circulatory and cellular/metabolic abnormalities are profound enough to substantially increase mortality.
- Patients with septic shock can be identified with a clinical construct of sepsis with persisting hypotension requiring vasopressors and having a high serum lactate level despite adequate volume resuscitation. With these criteria, hospital mortality is in excess of 40%.
- A SOFA score ≥2 reflects an overall mortality risk of approximately 10% in a general hospital population with suspected infection.
- However SOFA criteria (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) is clinical, and CMS criteria is quality oriented.
9. Observation to Inpatient Admission
Coders are not looking closely at orders for inpatient admission coming from observation.
ED admit, Creatinine 1/15 “2.46, 1/16 “2.03”, 1/20 “1.59” acute renal failure resolved with IV fluids 500 m
1,0000 hr. rate x 2. (N17.9, acute renal failure coded as PDX)
1/18 admission note: “LOS > 2MN Pt admit for, n/v, cough. Flu +. Tamiflu, nebs, prednisone PO, sputum cx. Pt not back to baseline, green phlegm and cough continues…“
PN 1/21 “..Plan: Viral bronchitis with positive influenza.”
In the above scenario, the auditor changed PDX from N17.9 to J11.1, influenza with other respiratory manifestatons
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.
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).
In the first parts of this series we looked at definitions of AKI/ARF, causes, coding and sequencing. In Part 3, we will look at what clinical indicators would possibly be present to support the diagnosis of AKI/ARF.
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.
This is part 1 in a series focused on coding of acute kidney injury (AKI) and/or acute renal failure (ARF). AKI/ARF is reported often, but is also one of the most common diagnosis found in denials.
With the proliferation of COVID-19 cases, we thought we would put together a quick reference listing of some of the common scenarios that coders have asked about. As with all coding, coders should follow Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting and the COVD-19 Frequently Asked Questions document by the AHA.
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.
Effective with 4/1/2020 discharges, ICD-10-CM code U07.0 is used to report vaping -related disorders. ICD-10-CM code U07.0 (vaping related disorder) should be used when documentation supports that the patient has a lung-related disorder from vaping. This code is found in the new ICD-10-CM Chapter 22. U07.0 will be in listed in the ICD-10-CM manual under a new section: Provisional assignment of new disease of uncertain etiology or emergency use.
The US government and public-health officials are urging consumers to utilize telemedicine for remote treatment, fill prescriptions and get medical attention during the new coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to keep people with symptoms at home and to practice social distancing if their condition doesn’t warrant more intensive hospital care.
Coronavirus: Tips for working from home. Companies around the world have told their employees to stay home and work remotely. Whether you’re a new to this concept or a work from home veteran, here’s some tips to staying productive from our #HIAfamily.
This is the final part of a three part series in which we address how coders can better interact with Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) professionals. In this part, we provide an actual example of an effective communication response to CDI.
This is part two of a three part series in which we address how coders can better interact with Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) professionals. In this part, we discuss mismatches and how to best go about resolving them. In part three we will provide a case example of best practice interaction.
This is part one of a three part series in which we address how coders can better interact with Clinical Documentation Integrity (CDI) professionals. Many times these departments are separate and the remote environment makes it difficult to interact efficiently between the two departments. In part one, we will discuss the history and objectives of CDI so the coder has a better understanding of CDI’s role.
One reason that coders should report chronic conditions (including history and status codes) on outpatient records is the HCC’s—Hierarchical Condition Categories. The quick and easy explanation of what HCC’s are is each HCC is mapped to certain ICD-10-CM codes or code ranges. HCC coding is designed to estimate future health care costs for patients.
For Part 4 of this 5-part series, we will look at Chapter 10 within ICD-10-CM—J00-J99—Diseases of the Respiratory System. There is no possible way to include every guideline or coding reference for this chapter, but here are some of the most common issues.
For Part 3 of this 5 part series, we will look at Chapter 9 within ICD-10-CM—I00-I99—Diseases of the Circulatory System. This chapter contains so many of the everyday diagnoses that we code such as hypertension, heart disease and stroke.
For Part 2 of this 5-part series, we will look at Chapter 1 within ICD-10-CM—A00-B99—Certain Infectious and Parasitic Diseases. There is no possible way to include every guideline or coding reference for this chapter, but here are some of the most common issues.
For Part 1 of this 5-part series, we will look at Chapter 21 within ICD-10-CM—Z00-Z99—Factors influencing health status and contact with health services. There is no possible way to include every guideline or coding reference for this chapter, but I’ll do my best to touch on some off the most common issues.
The HIM world has been buzzing recently with discussion of “Social Determinants of Health” and coded data. What does this mean for coders and the HIM field?
In response to the recent occurrences of vaping related disorders and in consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHOFIC) Network Classification and Statistics Advisory Committee (CSAC) was convened to discuss a diagnosis code for vaping related illness for immediate use.