Find Your Routine: Tools to Tackle Unpredictable Days
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 Meghan Schumacher, CPC, CPMA, Provider Coding Consultant at Health Information Associates, Inc., about the steps she takes to find her routine.
Q: Describe in detail your daily routine.
A: The first thing I do before I go into my office is make sure I have a cup of coffee! Then I’ll log on and check my emails. I’m on CST and most of my co-workers are on EST, so some mornings a lot has happened by the time I log on that I need to know before starting my day. Once I answer any emails or make necessary phones calls, I’ll get started on coding or reviewing records. Most of my day is coding or reviewing. At the end of the day, I will answer any necessary emails before logging off.
Q: How do you maintain your routine day after day, week after week?
A: I believe the key to maintaining a routine is organization. I must have everything I need as far as references, reports, scrap paper, etc. all organized on my desk and desktop, so I can readily access it. I’m also a creature of habit, so I do the same steps in each record:
I enter the record number into Particle, [HIA’s internal database]. Then, I find the record in the client’s system. I enter in all the demographic information, ICD-10-CM/CPT codes from the client’s system. Once everything is entered into Particle, I start reading the note. Then I compare the diagnosis billed to the diagnosis documented and CPT codes if applicable. I then make changes in our system and then the clients – I always make sure they mirror each other. That way I know I don’t miss anything. Once all the updates are made, I complete the chart, send the charge if applicable and move onto the next record. My process is mostly the same for reviewing with a few extra steps and a lot more reading!
Using these tools helps me tackle even the most unpredictable days.
Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?
A: For me to concentrate and work efficiently I need it to be quiet. No music, no talking, just silence. I silence my phone every morning as well and keep it face down, so I don’t get distracted by it. I do tend to answer emails when I receive them. However, if it’s something I can not answer quickly I’ll wait till the end of the day.
Q: What are the productivity goals that you set for yourself? And how do you track them?
A: Once I get started on a client and comfortable with their rule and regulations I can start moving pretty quickly through records. Depending on if I’m coding or reviewing and the specific specialty will depend on my goals for productivity. I know about how many I should be doing a day, so I then divide it by how many hours I’m working and that’s how I keep track. If I’m getting x number of charts done an hour, I’m meeting my productivity goals. Quality is just as important if not more important, so I keep that in mind as well.
Q: What motivates you the most? Positive feedback from managers, self-motivation by reaching personal goals, financing incentives? Or other?
A: I think positive feedback from the clients and HIA is the most rewarding. Financial incentives are always a major plus as well! I think knowing your hard work is recognized and appreciated is very gratifying. I have two signs on my desk, one I got for my birthday last year from HIA, “You got this” and another one I bought that says, “Do what you Love”. These are both reminders that I can do it and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to love what I do!
TIP: I continuously use stick notes on my computer screen of reminders for meetings or steps I need to remember for certain clients. I also have a piece of scrap paper I use to write down any notes or codes, etc. I need to for the charts I’m working.
The Circulatory chapter is one that is identified every year as having a large number of coding changes. Many of these changes are related to documentation providing more specificity and, in some cases, less specificity than the codes reported. Below we will discuss some of the areas of opportunity in this chapter.
In 2019, we reviewed over 50,000 diagnosis codes from many different specialties for our Professional Fee clients. Here are the top three ICD-10-CM chapters where HIA identified coding opportunities: Z00-Z99 – Factors influencing health status and contact with health services; I00-I99 – Circulatory system and; R00-R99 – Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified.
This is Part 5 of a five part series on the new 2020 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 2020 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY 2020 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There is 3 new digestive system codes with 1 deletion and 2 revised; 1 revised urinary system codes with new category III codes; 6 new with 20 deleted nervous system codes with 3 revisions; 2 new eye codes with 3 revisions; and finally a new category III auditory code.
This is Part 3 of a five part series on the new 2020 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 11 new cardiovascular CPT codes added with 8 deletions and 2 revisions.
This is Part 2 of a five part series on the new 2020 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2020 and include some examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There are 11 new musculoskeletal CPT codes added with 1 deletion and 0 revisions.
This is Part 1 of a five part series on the new 2020 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2020 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. For 2020 in general, there were 248 new CPT codes added, 71 deleted and 75 revised.
This is Part 6 of a 6-part series focusing on CPT coding of breast procedures. There are many different types of breast reconstruction procedures, each having potential stumbling-blocks for coders. Part 6 focuses on revision of a reconstructed breast.
This is Part 5 of a 6-part series focusing on CPT coding of breast procedures. There are many different types of breast procedures, each having potential stumbling-blocks for coders. This series will address several of the more confusing topics. Part 5 focuses on the coding of different types of autologous tissue breast reconstruction procedures.
Part 4: CPT Breast Education Series | Use of Acellular Dermal Matrix with Breast Implant Reconstruction
This is Part 4 of a 6-part series focusing on CPT coding of reconstructive procedures following mastectomy. There are many different types of breast reconstruction procedures, each having potential stumbling-blocks for coders. Part 4 focuses on the use of acellular dermal matrix with breast implant reconstruction.
Part 3: CPT Breast Education Series | Immediate Versus Delayed Permanent Breast Implant Reconstruction
This is Part 3 of a 6-part series focusing on CPT coding of breast procedures. There are many different types of breast procedures, each having potential stumbling-blocks for coders. This series will address several of the more confusing topics. Part 3 focuses on the difference between immediate and delayed permanent breast implant reconstruction.
This is Part 2 of a 6-part series focusing on CPT coding of breast procedures. There are many different types of breast reconstruction procedures, each having potential stumbling-blocks for coders. This series will address several of the more confusing topics. Part 2 focuses on the use of tissue expanders in breast reconstruction.
With the implementation of ICD-10-PCS the description of codes became much more detailed to describe exactly what is being performed. Cardiac catheterization is one of the descriptions that changed to further detail exactly what is being performed during the procedure.
This is Part 1 of a 6-part series focusing on CPT coding of reconstructive procedures following mastectomy. There are many different types of breast reconstruction procedures, each having potential stumbling-blocks for coders. Part 1 is an overview of the types of breast reconstruction techniques commonly used. Future topics in this series will go into more detail of each technique and the CPT coding implications.
With Christmas fast-approaching, we’re making a list of our favorite holiday movies and checking it twice. And in the spirit of good humor and cheer, we’ve added some ICD-10 codes to these holiday classics. Have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday everyone!
“Lobar” pneumonia references a form of pneumonia that affects a specific lobe or lobes of the lung. This is a bacterial pneumonia and is most commonly community acquired. Antibiotics are almost always necessary to clear this type of pneumonia.
Why are so many sepsis records denied? It’s hard to say why there seem to be so many sepsis denials of late, but most likely this is due to the multiple sets of criteria for the diagnosis of sepsis, change in definition of sepsis, as well as physician documentation.
In Parts 1, 2 and 3 we learned about what sepsis is, sequencing of sepsis and what documentation is needed to report severe sepsis. In Part 4, we will look at clinical indicators needed to clinically support the diagnosis of sepsis and determine if a query is indicated.
Severe sepsis occurs when sepsis progresses and signs of organ dysfunction/failure develop. One site stated that approximately 30% of patients with severe sepsis do not survive. Patients may develop one organ dysfunction/failure, multi-system organ failure and/or septic shock.
In Part 2 of our Sepsis Series, we are going to focus on sequencing of sepsis when the diagnosis is clearly documented. Later in the series we will look at what to do when the diagnosis is not clearly documented.
In this series, we will learn what sepsis is or causes of sepsis, how to sequence the diagnosis in ICD-10-CM, what are the clinical indicators for sepsis, is a query necessary before reporting the diagnosis of sepsis, and how to prevent denials on sepsis records.
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 FY2020 IPPS changes. In this last Part 4 of the series, we will review the NTAP procedure codes and reimbursement add-on payments for FY2020.
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 FY2020. On August 2, 2019, CMS published the Final Rule for IPPS (CMS-1716) FY2020 IPPS Final Rule.
This is Part 1 of a 4 part series on the FY2020 changes to ICD-10 and the IPPS. In this part, we discuss some of the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis changes. There are 72,184 total ICD-10-CM codes for FY2020.
We have finished with the step-by-step coding tidbits on coding of spinal fusions. If you were not able to catch Parts 1-13 of this series focused on spinal fusions, please visit hiacode.com/topics/series/spinal-fusion-coding/.
In Part 12, we focused on intra-operative peripheral neuro monitoring used during spinal fusion surgery. In Part 13, we are going to focus on harvesting of autograft and is it coded. Remember in Part 6, we learned that autograft is bone from the patient.
In Part 11, we focused on identifying the computer assisted navigation used during spinal fusion surgery. In Part 12, we are going to focus on intra-operative peripheral neuro monitoring.
In Part 10, we focused on identifying whether or not hardware from a previous spinal fusion is coded. In Part 11, we are going to discuss computer assisted navigation.
In Part 9, we focused on identifying if decompression was also performed and if so, on which body part. In Part 10, we are going to focus on identifying if hardware was removed from a previous fusion site.