Blog & Publications

Find the latest news from the Haugen Consulting Group. Check back frequently for updates.

Tips & Expertise: PCS Spinal Fusions Intermediate Webinar Q&A

Please Note: Screen 44 in the live presentation showed code 00NW0ZZ for release of the spinal cord twice.  It should only be listed once.  Code 01N10ZZ for release of the cervical spinal nerve should also be assigned. Q:  If he said he used the mix of bone graft, bone...

CPT Coding for Spine, an Organized Approach!

Blog Post: Digging into HIM & Coding

Have you ever been presented with a several-page operative report for a spinal fusion surgery and felt overwhelmed? And you don’t know where to start? Then this is the webinar for you! Have you ever heard the question; how do you eat an elephant? The answer one bite at a time!  That is precisely the approach we will be doing with this webinar!  During this one-hour webinar, we will dig into the four main elements that can be part of every spine surgery. Continue reading for a sneak peek of this webinar.

Creating a Team of Certified Tumor Registrars (CTR) for a CoC Accredited Organization

According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 1.9 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021. Research shows that up to 50% of cancer cases are preventable with the knowledge we have today. The month of February is National Cancer Prevention Month, dedicated to educating individuals on how to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Certified Tumor Registrars (CTR) also play a large role in gathering the data needed for cancer research, treatment, and prevention. We thought this would be a great time to share a unique project facilitated by our team and the journey to assist a client develop their own team of CTRs.

Tips & Expertise: PCS Spinal Fusion Basics

Q:  You covered all of the devices in the fusion tables except synthetic substitute.  When would this device be used? A:  Fusion of the spine with a synthetic substitute is extremely rare since some type of bone graft is used to “glue” the joint together.  The device...

Tips & Expertise: CPT and PCS Spinal Anatomy and Pathology

Q:  You mentioned that another physician often does the anterior approach for the surgeon performing fusion.  How do you code for that anterior approach for that surgeon? A: CPT: For pro-fee CPT coding, both surgeons should report the correct anterior approach CPT...

Total Joint replacement, Hemiarthroplasty or Revision? Which is it?

Blog Post: Digging into HIM & Coding

Surgeons often use the terms arthroplasty and replacement interchangeable to describe a procedure they performed.  On occasion, they will also state that they are doing a revision.   As a coder, to figure out what procedure was performed, it is important to understand the procedures they describe and most importantly, the anatomy of the structures they are working on. Most commonly, I see these types of procedures performed on hips, shoulders, and knees, however, I have seen them on foot, ankle, wrists and even elbows! Keep reading to review the difference between the various procedures and terms used for these types of procedures. | Read More.

Tips & Expertise: 2021 E/M Changes

Q: Can we count resident’s time?A: No. Teaching physician rules haven’t changed. Resident time is not billable. Q: Do you need to document exactly how you spent your time with the patient, or just the total minutes?A: It is recommended to document total minutes plus...

Spinal Anatomy Coding

Blog Post: Digging into HIM & Coding

In a discussion about spinal anatomy, one of my coworkers once said, “It’s not so much that the spinal column is three-dimensional, it’s more five-dimensional.” I think that is an apt description of the vertebral segments that stack one on top of the other to compose the spinal column.  It is critical for coders to have a thorough understanding of spinal anatomy when assigning ICD-10-PCS and CPT codes to spinal fusion procedures.  In this blog post, we will walk through a brief primer on spinal anatomy. The spine is composed of bone and soft tissue.  Let’s start with the bones. | Read More.

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