Find Your Routine: Set a Pattern, Follow it
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 Donna Cowan, RHIT, CCS, Coding Specialist at Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
Q: Describe in detail your daily routine.
A: In the morning, I make sure I leave time to sit, relax, drink some coffee and read or watch TV so I can go into my work day positively. I check my emails to see what needs my attention and take care of that. Next, I check all my outstanding charts to see what can be finalized. Once those are completed, I start coding Client records. I enter all the information needed in the HIA log and then start entering my codes. I like to start with reviewing the CDI notes, Discharge Summary, OP reports, Admit/Discharge Orders, ED report, HP, Progress notes, Consults and finally Nurses notes. My Client uses the CAC system which I do use and find helps a lot. I make sure to check the medications a patient is taking to confirm my secondary diagnoses are valid which I find on the ED, HP and DS. I then take care of any CDI discrepancies I may have via notifications and or write queries that need to be done. If I have Coding questions or need some guidance, I go to Share Point to try and get my answers and submit questions.
Q: How do you maintain your routine day after day, week after week?
A: I find myself following a set pattern of getting up, getting dressed, and doing the same things that I would normally do if I went to an outside job. I’m not sure how productive I would be if I rolled out of bed and started working in my pajamas, lol…
Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?
A: I like to limit my time viewing/answering emails to once in the morning and then again thirty minutes before my day ends. This way you can focus on the charts in front of you.
Q: What are the productivity goals that you set for yourself? And how do you track them?
A: There are always going to be good and bad coding days depending on the types of cases you are working on. I try to pick up the pace and shorten my time spent on some of the easier cases, for example, newborn charts. I do view the productivity reports available. I just try to do my best every day!
Q: What motivates you the most? Positive feedback from managers, self-motivation by reaching personal goals, financing incentives? Or other?
A: I think a combination of all of the above are motivating factors. I try to go into every day thinking how lucky I am to be able to work from home and live anywhere I choose!
Changes to CC/MCC designations included in the proposal could have a potentially dramatic effect on casemix. The presence of a major complication or comorbidity (MCC) or complication or comorbidity (CC) generally is representative of a patient that requires more resources.
How many times have you heard “it only takes one code to get the claim paid”? With the emphasis on the severity of illness and the move toward value-based reimbursement in today’s healthcare climate, it is more important than ever for coders to report all applicable diagnoses. There are three important pieces: what the provider documents, how to the coder interprets that documentation and codes it, and then how it is extrapolated.
The reimbursement landscape is already a complicated one – and the highly-complex claims denials process only adds fuel to the fire. A denied claim is one that has been determined by a payor to be in appropriate. Once a coding specialist amends the errors on a rejected claim, they can resubmit it for consideration. The time-intensive process has a significant impact on the cash flow for any setting in the healthcare environment. They are also very costly to appeal.
When a practitioner documents a diagnosis that does not appear to be supported by the clinical indicators in the health record, a coder has four choices: (1) Code the diagnosis; (2) Ignore the diagnosis; (3) Generate a query to confirm clinical validation of a diagnosis; (4) Follow the facility’s escalation policy for clinical validation.
A California-based healthcare services provider and several of its affiliates have agreed to pay $30 million to resolve allegations they submitted inaccurate information about the health status of beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans, according to the Department of Justice.
Happy National Volunteer Week! This week we celebrate the impact volunteer work has on building stronger communities. We know that our staff have a positive impact while they’re on the job, and we are proud to share a few ways our #PeopleBehindTheNumbers are taking time to volunteer in their own local communities.
Scrutiny of coding compliance in the growing ambulatory surgical center (ASC) market has increased in recent years from both Medicare and private payers. This will only increase as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) moves towards value-based care.
Patients being admitted for acute renal failure due to dehydration have been happening for many, many years now. Typically what happens is a patient gets dehydrated for one reason or another. Once dehydration sets in, it can quickly start to affect many body organs. This can lead to acute renal/kidney failure/injury.
In December 2018, a Pennsylvania for-profit hospital and health system, and its CEO agreed to pay a total of $12.5 million to settle allegations they submitted false claims to Medicare and other federal health care programs for orthopedic surgeries. The settlement resolves allegations that top executives exploited a loophole – AKA modifier 59 – that allowed them to double bill federal healthcare payers for surgeries and ignored coding consultants who advised them that they were improperly billing.
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 Zahra Ghahremani, CCS, Coding Specialist at Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
All queries require at least two elements – clinical indicators and a query question. Coders can also include multiple choice options for response or leave the query open-ended for a free text response. The order in which these elements are listed in a query is open to coder or facility preference.
Giving back is an important part of the HIA mission. Each year, HIA employees take a consensus and choose three National charities to support. Individuals can volunteer a portion of their wages to one of the three organizations. HIA Corporate will match each individual donation up to five dollars. We are proud to share with you our 2018 contribution totals combined with HIA matching funds.
One area that coders struggle with is when to report a separate condition code when an already assigned combination code includes the condition. For example, if an obstetric patient is admitted and delivers, and the physician documents “obstetric patient delivered with anemia,” should both code O99.02 Anemia complicating childbirth and D64.9, Anemia, unspecified be coded or should only O99.02 be assigned?
The key to choosing reasonable options for a query response is to remember that the query must stand alone. Any clinical indicators supporting the options must be included in the query itself. In this week’s Query Tip, we provide examples of two queries in which the options for response are not reasonable based on clinical indicators used by coder.
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.
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.