Author Archives | deborahm

deborahm - who has written 246 posts on SuperCoder Blog.

Deborah works on a wide range of TCI SuperCoder projects, researching and writing about coding, as well as assisting with data updates and tool development for our online coding solutions. Since joining TCI in 2004, she’s covered the ins and outs of coding for radiology, cardiology, oncology and hematology, orthopedics, audiology, and more.

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Tick-Tock: Understand Why Time Matters for E/M Coding

Monday, April 22, 2019

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For E/M, there has been a lot of attention on how the role of time will change in 2021. But what about right now? After this skill sharpener on time in the AMA CPT® E/M guidelines, you’ll have a better understanding of time’s current role in E/M coding. Where to Find AMA CPT® E/M Guidelines […]

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Your Secret Decoder for ICD-10-CM Notes Has Arrived!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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I’ve been working with ICD-10-CM notes recently, like Excludes1 and “code first.” One thing coders have to know about those notes is that they come with qualifiers. Let’s look at some of the not-so-obvious meanings of these ICD-10-CM notes. Excludes1 Means “NOT CODED HERE!” Unless … ICD-10-CM Excludes1 notes originally came with the explanation that […]

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Before You Pick a Pain Code, You Need to Know These Official Guidelines

Monday, April 15, 2019

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ICD-10-CM is picky about pain coding, and it’s no wonder considering all the possible variations. Fortunately you can turn to the 2019 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting (OGs) to keep your coding skills sharp. Today we’ll take a look at some of these pain pointers. Walk a Fine Line for Pain Related to […]

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Coding Snapshot: 4 Answers to Ace Major Joint Arthrocentesis

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Time for an arthrocentesis refresher! Today we’re digging into the details of 20610 and 20611 with four questions and answers. 1. What Are the Major Components of These Codes? Let’s start by working our way through the code descriptors: 20610 (Arthrocentesis, aspiration and/or injection, major joint or bursa (eg, shoulder, hip, knee, subacromial bursa); without […]

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$325 Million in Office Visit Underpayments! How Much Is Yours?

Monday, April 8, 2019

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Audit discussions often focus on the fear of upcoding and having to hope that repaying the extra amount is the worst of the consequences. But downcoding is another problem area affecting your payments and more. Here’s why you should never purposely downcode your services. Start With a CERT Story Wondering about the $325 million in […]

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No More 99201? What’s Coming in 2021 for E/M

Thursday, April 4, 2019

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There’s been a lot of buzz about what Medicare has planned for E/M in 2021. One question all that raises is how it will mesh with AMA CPT® coding rules. Here are some hints from the February 2019 CPT® Editorial Summary of Panel Actions about what is in store for the code descriptors and guidelines. […]

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How Well Do You Know ICD-10-CM Vax Codes? Quiz Time!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

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Complete knowledge of ICD-10-CM coding for immunizations means knowing how to code both when an immunization occurs and when it does not. Ready to see if you’ve mastered the ICD-10-CM codes for these encounters? Let’s go! Choose Your Answers to These ICD-10-CM Questions Q1. What does the code-level note with Z23 (Encounter for immunization) in […]

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Simplify Cystocele Coding With These ICD-10-CM and CPT® Pointers

Monday, March 25, 2019

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Urogynecology brings together urology and gynecology, specifically focusing on treating pelvic floor disorders. One diagnosis urogynecology coders need to be familiar with is cystocele, our topic for today. Tie Your Diagnosis to These ICD-10-CM Codes A cystocele occurs when the wall between the bladder and vagina weakens, causing a protrusion. You should report this condition […]

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Make the CCI Manual Your Go-To Guide for Shoulder Arthroscopy With Debridement

Thursday, March 21, 2019

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Before you code debridement with shoulder arthroscopy, make sure you know what the Medicare Correct Coding Initiative (CCI) manual has to say. You’ll find the highlights here to help you get started. Where to look: You’ll find these instructions in chapter IV, section E, of the Medicare CCI manual. Same Shoulder? Stick to the Basic […]

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Watch April MPFS Update for NGACO Code Changes With a January Twist

Monday, March 18, 2019

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Ready for some retroactive MPFS changes? The next Medicare Physician Fee Schedule update may have an April 1, 2019, implementation date, but the effective date is Jan. 1, 2019. The theme for the HCPCS codes involved is Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (NGACO) Model Post Discharge Home Visits. Remember: “MACs will not search their files […]

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