Blog & Publications

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Digging into MS-DRG’s

Blog Post: Digging into HIM & Coding

Are you looking for opportunities for focused audit reviews or coder education? At HCG, we track our audit data throughout the year to identify trends in the industry and opportunities to educate coders in specific problem areas. So far, in 2020, we have identified 4 MS-DRG’s that stand out with the highest number of coding errors that affected the MS-DRG assignment. Digging deeper into the audit data, we were able to identify specific coding opportunities where coders could improve their diagnosis coding and limit the MS-DRG changes in those areas. Continue reading to learn more about the MS-DRG’s identified. | Read more.

Tips & Expertise: 2021 ICD-10-CM Updates

Q:  For alcohol and drug withdrawal, what is the default code if the doctor does not document use or dependence? A:  The alphabetic index lists dependence as the default and this is reiterated in Coding Clinic, Second Quarter 2015: Page 15.  However, if documentation...

Tips & Expertise: 2021 ICD-10-PCS Updates

Q:  Question in regards to the COVID-19 new PCS codes.  I am getting push back about coding these PCS codes when the drugs can be picked up via the charge master.  What are your thoughts? A:  While your organization may be able to pull this data from the charge...

Understanding 2020’s Unexpected Updates

Blog Post: Digging into HIM & Coding

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released 12 new ICD-10-PCS codes to report the administration of therapeutic substances in the treatment of COVID-19.  All these codes are in the New Technology (X) section and allow for reporting of four specific and one nonspecific substance. | Read More.

Critical Questions for Critical Care

Blog Post: Digging into HIM & Coding

This blog post has been a long time coming, as this topic has been top-of-mind since 2018, when critical care services were placed on the Office of Inspector General (OIG) work plan. Since that time, I have had an opportunity to review hundreds of critical care charts from multiple facilities. To say that I have become passionate about good critical care documentation is an understatement. Fortunately, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Medical Association (AMA), and other specialty societies publish a lot of guidance on critical care documentation. Although there are multiple facets to critical care billing, this article is focused on the one thing I repeatedly find lacking in charts: medical necessity.

Tips & Expertise: ICD-10-PCS for Replacement Procedures

Q: A patient with a previous hemiarthroplasty (say, right hip) comes in for a THR. Do you code the removal and replacement of the device (head/stem) and just replacement of the liner/cup? Q: How do you code polyethylene exchange of the left total knee. They took out the old one and placed a new one. Continue Reading to learn more!

Coding Sinus Surgery in CPT

Digging Into HIM & Coding Blog ​Did you know there are two separate nasal cavities, eight sinuses, and six turbinates to consider when coding sinus surgery?! This can make for quite a coding challenge! Most sinus surgeries performed are called Functional...

Tips & Expertise: ICD-10-PCS for GI Procedures

Q:  Can you explain when the approach for laparoscopically-assisted procedure through an orifice would be used? A:  This approach was added to the GI system in fiscal year 2018 to report a laparoscopically-assisted anal-pull through procedure.  This procedure is...

Faxing Your Resume and Staying Humble with Deanna Upston

Publication: NEC Podcast

Haugen’s consultant, Deanna Upston catches up with creator of the Medical Coding Geeks, Brian Cui in a recent episode of the Not Elsewhere Classified (NEC) Podcast. Deanna shares her journey from medical assistant to faxing in her resume and landing her first coding job. | Read More.

Coding GI Endoscopy Procedures in CPT

Digging Into HIM & Coding Blog When coding for colonoscopies for Medicare patients it is crucial to understand the following: What is a screening colonoscopy? Which codes are applicable? Is a modifier required? In some scenarios, it is also helpful to know what...

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