Find Your Routine: Know Your Client Workflow
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 Tilina Sablan, RHIT, CCS, Coding Specialist with Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
Q: Describe in detail your daily routine.
A: First thing in the morning, I check both my client e-mail and HIA e-mail. If there is anything administrative related that needs my attention, I take care of that right away. Next, I look at any pending charts that are outdated and need to be reviewed and I follow up on those. Since I am in touch with CDI a lot at my current client, I also like to check that e-mail first thing.
Finally, it’s time to start coding!
I begin with the discharge disposition in PowerChart, then I abstract the attending and consults. I go through the workflow that the client provides. Every client is different, so I find it important to get to know your client and their workflow. This ensures I don’t miss anything that needs to be coded. From there, I open 3M and review CDI notes to get a glance at what kind of chart I will be coding. After reviewing, I will go through their final notes. From there I go into PowerChart and review entire the H&P to get admitting diagnosis, then ED, discharge summary, consults, op notes, progress notes, etc. After reading all of that, I go back to the discharge summary to make sure I got the correct principle diagnosis and secondary diagnoses – making sure I’ve captured everything. My client uses CAC system that I do use; however, if I’m not sure if it’s the right code, I will use The Coding Tree. If there are some codes that they are suggesting for me, I will look up those codes to verify and be sure that they are appropriate secondary diagnoses to report.
If I know there is a chart that I will have questions on, I open SharePoint and put in the main terms or terms that will help narrow down the search. I read what relates to what I am coding to familiarize myself with the chart I am about to code. This all helps to make sure I am selecting the correct principle diagnoses.
If I still have a question and don’t find a similar tip, I will save all the notes and send my questions to Sharepoint so our HIA Education team can provide that extra help and clarity.
Q: How do you maintain your routine day after day, week after week?
A: I make sure to do things that encourage me to focus. In the beginning of my work day, I like to listen to the radio and morning talk shows until about 10 a.m. – it helps get me motivated for the day. Depending on what charts I get, like new moms and babies, I try to attack those by spending less of my coding time. This allows me to spend longer on those charts that require more time, like longer length of stays
Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?
A: In the morning, I make sure to keep my water and a snack nearby so I don’t have to get up and then get sidetracked. Just being ready for the day and prepared to work is the best tip I can give. I must keep my phone around me for my kids, but I always get in that work mind set and have what I need to attack my work day and prepare to code.
Q: What are the productivity goals that you set for yourself? And how do you track them?
A: I feel that productivity is a never ending challenge and I am always striving to improve. I always want to make the most of my day – finishing that last record or trying to fit in one more chart before the days end. I also found the speed-reading tip and action plan very helpful. Another trick I use is writing down tips and coding shortcuts on digital sticky notes on my desktop (example below). This prevents me from having to go online and research the same thing twice – it’s just right there in front of me.
Q: What motivates you the most? Positive feedback from managers, self-motivation by reaching personal goals, financing incentives? Or other?
A: Positive feedback from managers and self-motivation works best for me. I love getting positive feedback from clients – that motivates me the most. I like to hear that I am doing a good job, and any constructive feedback.
TIP: Use digital sticky notes on your desktop to write down tips and coding shortcuts. Below is an example of Tilina’s:
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?
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.
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 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.