Spotlight K21.- to Keep GERD Coding Under Control

Tue, Jan 30, 2018


patient suffering K21 GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition treated in a lot of doctors’ offices, so coding for this diagnosis deserves some careful attention.

What is it? GERD involves acid reflux that occurs frequently. When the valve separating the esophagus and stomach doesn’t work appropriately, the stomach acid can travel up the esophagus, the tube from the throat to the stomach. Treatment often involves lifestyle changes and medication, but procedures by surgeons are a possible option, too, such as fundoplication.

Get GERD Confirmation to Avoid …

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How to Overcome 4 Top Orthopedic Coding Challenges

Wed, Jan 24, 2018


As an orthopedic coder, you face numerous challenges ranging from coding for common fractures to taking stock of bundling issues. Here are some handy tips to help you and your practice overcome four common orthopedic challenges and stay on track to deserved reimbursement this year.

1. Cast Away Your Fracture Care Coding Confusion
Orthopedic coders deal with fracture care patients often — and reporting inaccurate codes when related to fractures and their types can lead to revenue loss or claim denials. That’s why you must stay sharp when it comes to fracture care coding, and know the intricacies involving terminology.

You need to know the difference between an open and closed fracture. You also may need to determine if the physician performed manipulation before selecting a fracture care code — so …

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Here’s How New Hysterectomy Code 58575 Compares to Other Code Options

Wed, Jan 24, 2018


gynecology cpt coding

We’re coming to the end of Cervical Health Awareness Month, in case you didn’t know. And in a roundabout way, that makes me think of the new 2018 hysterectomy code 58575 (Laparoscopy, surgical, total hysterectomy for resection of malignancy (tumor debulking), with omentectomy including salpingo-oophorectomy, unilateral or bilateral, when performed). How does this new code compare to existing options? Let’s find out.

Start With the Approach

The approach the surgeon takes is a defining factor in hysterectomy code choice, and new code 58575 helps you start narrowing your code options quickly by …

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CPT® 2018 Quiz: Can You Say Laparoscopic Esophagectomy Three Times Fast?

Fri, Jan 19, 2018


CPT 2018 esophagectomy

Have you mastered which laparoscopic esophagectomy procedures match to the three new options in the CPT® 2018 code set? The descriptors for 43286-43288 are dense, packed with anatomic and surgical terms that sometimes hit the eight-syllable mark. So if you know which terms to look for in your documentation to help narrow down your code choice, your work will be a lot easier. Let’s do a quick quiz.

Meet the Laparoscopic Esophagectomy Codes

If these new codes are ones you’ll use, then you already know the esophagus …

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Did You Catch It? New Year, New Look for CLFS

Wed, Jan 17, 2018


Medicare CLFS 2018

Your 2018 preparations for lab coding aren’t complete if you haven’t looked into the changes to the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). Here are some hints from Pathology/Lab Coder to point you in the right direction.

Get an Overview of the CLFS Makeover

The 2018 CLFS brought a major overhaul to payment for lab testing. This year’s CLFS provides one national payment rate for each lab code (with some exceptions being marked as locally priced).

As an example of the new national approach, if you look up comprehensive metabolic panel code 80053, you’ll see a national rate of $13.04 …

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Skill Sharpener: Add to Your Cardiogenic Shock Coding Knowledge

Wed, Jan 10, 2018


ICD-10 coding for cardiogenic shock

Cardiogenic shock may affect treatment outcomes for patients with multivessel coronary artery disease and acute myocardial infarction, so it’s an important diagnosis to document. What is cardiogenic shock, and what are the ICD-10-CM codes for it? Let’s take a look.

Get to Know the Diagnosis

A patient with the medical emergency known as cardiogenic shock has low cardiac output. That means the heart can’t pump enough blood for the body. In cardiogenic shock, this happens suddenly. Damage to the heart (typically the left ventricle) from causes such as a heart attack, inflammation (myocarditis), infection (endocarditis), or drug use may lead …

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Survey Says: 83 Percent of Physicians Report Cybersecurity Attacks

Mon, Jan 8, 2018


healthcare cybersecurity

Four out of five U.S. physicians surveyed reported experiencing a cyberattack, according to research from the AMA and Accenture. The role of electronic health information is growing, and the information itself is attractive to criminals interested in gaining private information. All of that makes cybersecurity a crucial issue for the healthcare industry and every patient, too. To keep your data safe, here are some training tips.

1. Don’t Assume Phishing Scams Are Easy to Spot

About 55 percent of those surveyed reported phishing, making it the most common type of cyberattack. You may already know to be suspicious of emails …

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Avoid This $45 Mistake! Know the Difference Between US Codes 76881 and 76882

Thu, Jan 4, 2018


Many specialties provide joint ultrasounds, including radiology, podiatry, and orthopedics. And that means many specialty coders need to know about changes to the descriptors and guidelines for ultrasound (US) codes 76881 and 76882 in the CPT® 2018 code set. Use this quick primer to be sure you’re using these revised codes correctly for 2018 dates of service.

Get to Know the Updated Descriptors

The descriptors below are what you’re familiar with from 2017:

  • 76881 (Ultrasound, extremity, nonvascular, real-time with image documentation; complete)
  • 76882 (… limited, anatomic specific).

Here are the 2018 descriptors:

  • 76881 (Ultrasound, complete joint (ie, joint space and peri-articular soft tissue structures) real-time with image documentation
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Improve Your Knowledge of the MIPS Improvement Activities Category

Wed, Jan 3, 2018


There’s no time like New Year’s to think about improvement! Improvement activities in MIPS, that is.

Background: MIPS focuses on the categories of quality, cost, practice-based improvement activities (IA), and advancing care information (ACI), the last of which focuses on use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT). It can be tough to wrap your head around MIPS when you take all the categories together. To help bring some clarity, today we’ll take a closer look at IA, including what to expect for performance year 2018.

What Are the Activities Supposed to Improve?

The goal of the IA category is to improve clinical practice, care delivery, and outcomes.

How Much Does IA Count …

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